Chris Crocker is naturally going to be a little behind the curve, having just signed a couple of weeks ago, but it seems Crocker is catching up fast and could now be ready to run with the ones in preseason.
Head coach Mike Zimmer spoke after Monday night’s practice about where Crocker is and what his role could be Saturday when the Vikings hit the field against Arizona (via ESPN.com):
Chris Crocker began the night in the first-team defense alongside Harrison Smith at safety, and we could be seeing plenty more of him there; coach Mike Zimmer said Crocker might start in the Vikings’ second preseason game on Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals. “I’ve seen him for a few days,” Zimmer said. “I haven’t seen him enough to say he’s ready to do this or ready to do that. He’s very smart. He understands the system. He can help everybody else.”
The Vikings’ safety situation has been a mess so far, with Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo all missing portions of training camp with injury. Outside of Harrison Smith, only veteran Kurt Coleman and rookie Antone Exum have remained healthy.
Coleman started the preseason opener against Oakland and was fairly impressive, intercepting a pass and knocking down another. That performance seemingly vaulted Coleman to the top of the safety depth chart, but Zimmer may also want to get a long look at Crocker, who played for him both in Atlanta and Cincinnati, before making up his mind.