One of the biggest questions marks entering the season for the Minnesota Vikings was the linebacker position. The Vikings were aggressive in getting bodies to compete for jobs there, drafting Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti as well as getting Desmond Bishop out of free agency.
If you’re not familiar with Desmond Bishop, he is a former Green Bay Packers player who was a part of the team when they won Super Bowl XLV. Bishop recovered a fumble in that game at a crucial point in the game that helped the Packers finish the game with a win. In the preseason that followed, he suffered a devastating injury to his hamstring which caused him to miss the entire season after surgery. When the Vikings decided to take a risk on Bishop with a one year contract, most fans assumed that he would either compete for the starting middle linebacker job or the outside linebacker job.
Week 1 of the NFL season has passed, and we have yet to see Bishop. It was stated that it was “coach’s decision” that Bishop didn’t play. Strangely enough Bishop had tweeted some cryptic messages that really makes you wonder what is going on. Bishop said that it would take luck and prayer for him to him to crack the lineup. When asked to explain, he stated that he doesn’t know how to explain it.
From the outside looking in, it leaves things very open to interpretation. Even though Bishop looked really good during the preseason, it makes you wonder if it’s a problem with his health, the scheme or even something else that is keeping him off the field. Against the Lions in week 1, the Vikings played a lot of nickel defense where a linebacker was replaced by another defensive back. Perhaps when the scheme makes it necessary, Bishop will become a more valuable asset to this team. This is what Bishop had to say about waiting for his chance to play:
“My first three years in the league I felt the same way, I was ready and I had to be patient for three years. So, I kind of got the hang of it now. It’s definitely a little tough because I’m a competitor and I feel like I can help the team. That’s not really my call, so I’m just waiting for my opportunity.”
When Desmond Bishop finally does get his opportunity, he should be able to make the most of it. This preseason, he showed the speed and ability that would be needed to succeed in the Vikings defense. For now, it’s just a matter of waiting to see when that opportunity will be.