5 Vikings players who could take a step backward in 2020

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /

Mike Hughes – CB

Mike Hughes has been pretty inconsistent since the Vikings took him in the first round back in 2018. He’s had moments where he looks great and he has good position on his receiver. He then has moments where he is late to cover his man, looks confused on the field, and misses the tackle.

The only consistent thing about his career so far is his injuries. Hughes has missed 16 games in his two-year career having blown out his knee his rookie season and then injuring his neck in 2019. He’s only played in 20 games for Minnesota so far with five starts.

The scary thing is that he heads into the 2020 season as basically the senior member of the Vikings cornerback group and its leader. Minnesota didn’t bring in a veteran free agent cornerback this offseason, and while they still could, they seem content going with a young group of players for the position.

Hughes could take a step backward during the upcoming season because he could see fewer opportunities. He isn’t a lock to start by any means. He’ll have to compete with first-round pick Jeff Gladney, Holton Hill, promising Kris Boyd, and third-round rookie Cameron Dantzler.

If Hughes does earn a starting job as he should, he could be on a short leash. Hughes had some pretty bad games last year and if his hot-and-cold play continues in 2020, Mike Zimmer now has players who could supplant him. Hughes has a lot of pressure on him to step up in 2020. If he can’t, he could start to see his role on the team diminish.