It took until the fifth game of the season, but Leslie Frazier and Alan Williams finally convinced themselves that Desmond Bishop is enough up to speed with the defense to get the start at weak-side linebacker for the Vikings. Marvin Mitchell had been starting previously.
Bishop of course struggles in pass coverage, but he’s a good downhill backer who brings some attitude and physicality to the defense. The Vikings must anticipate plenty of run looks from the Panthers today, so it makes sense that Bishop would be in there.
The Vikings signed Desmond Bishop in the offseason to a low-risk contract and it was believed that he would immediately move into the middle linebacker role. But Leslie Frazier made it clear right away that Bishop was seen strictly as an outside player. For awhile in camp it seemed Bishop’s job might be in peril but he ultimately made the team.
We’ll see what difference, if any, Bishop’s increased presence has on a defense that has struggled to find consistency this year. Pass defense has been a bigger problem than run defense and Bishop won’t affect that, but maybe he can go out there and make something happen in the snaps he sees.