The Vikings finally utilized their tight ends in Week 7 against the Lions. Kyle Rudolph had his best game of the season as he hauled in five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. Rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. was also heavily involved in Sunday’s action.
Kirk Cousins found the second-round tight end six times for 60 yards. Smith showed reliable hands while using his speed and quickness to get extra yardage and create separation between him and the defender.
Smith wasn’t just used as a weapon in the passing game though, he was also an asset in the running game. Smith threw some pretty nice blocks that helped spring Dalvin Cook for extra yardage against Detroit.
This young tight end is starting to figure things out and he is developing more and more into a dangerous weapon for Minnesota’s offense.
Top Vikings Rookie of Week 7
That brings us to the Vikings’ top rookie of Week 7. That honor goes to none other than seventh-round wide receiver Bisi Johnson.
Early in Sunday’s game, Adam Thielen had a beautiful touchdown catch but he hurt his hamstring in the process of making the spectacular play. This unfortunate situation for Minnesota opened the door for Johnson to step up and he did exactly that.
Johnson stepped into the No. 2 receiving role for the Vikings and he didn’t disappoint. Cousins showed confidence in the young receiver, throwing him the ball all game long. Johnson caught four of his targets for 40 yards and his first career touchdown.
It’s very impressive that this late seventh-round pick has had the impact he has so early in his career. He understands the offense, he runs good routes, and he catches everything thrown his way.
It’s unclear how long Thielen will be out with his hamstring injury. But Minnesota has to feel pretty good about having Johnson waiting in the wings to step up if they need him to in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.