Vikings Rookie LB Brandon Watts is Active For First Time
By Dan Zinski
A rash of injuries, especially on the defensive side of the ball, has left the Vikings with no option but to activate some rookies they would probably rather leave inactive.
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This is good news for Brandon Watts and Scott Crichton, both of whom will be up for today’s game against Detroit. This marks the first time all year the rookie Watts has been active on game day.
A seventh round pick out of Georgia Tech, Watts made the team after the Vikings elected to move on from veteran LB/special teams ace Larry Dean. Watts gets a chance with Anthony Barr inactive and Michael Mauti placed on IR.
It’s understandable that a 7th rounder like Watts would remain inactive most of the season. The Scott Crichton story has been a little more puzzling given that he was taken in the third round.
Mike Zimmer was actually asked this week about Crichton’s situation and Zimmer admitted that the rookie has not come along as fast as he hoped. Crichton was drafted with the idea that he would provide a little more power at left end and possibly kick inside at times, but he hasn’t shown enough in practice to even make the D-line rotation.
Now both Watts and Crichton will at least be active. How many snaps they actually get remains to be seen. With Barr down, Gerald Hodges gets the start at Sam linebacker. With Sharrif Floyd also inactive, Shamar Stephen will see time at defensive tackle.