5 Vikings players who have been key to their turnaround in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Jeff Gladney /

Jeff Gladney – CB

It’s hard not to like the way Jeff Gladney goes about his business on the field. The rookie cornerback went through his fair share of complications during the early stages of the campaign, but he remained fearless and is now displaying the sort of ability in coverage that the Vikings haven’t had in quite some time.

Gladney never looks overawed by the big occasion, which is probably the biggest compliment you can pay him at this juncture. His level of influence has grown with every passing game and has reached even greater heights following the bye.

Minnesota’s coaching staff has given the 2020 first-round pick plenty of responsibility and he has come up big against some top wideouts through the first nine games.

Gladney’s early difficulties weren’t unexpected given that even the most elite cornerback prospects go through growing pains against quicker and more physical receivers at the next level. But if he continues trending on an upward curve over the remaining seven games, then it will be another massive confidence boost for a player who looks to have a big future.

Letting Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander all leave in free agency was a bold strategy from the Vikings earlier this year. There are sure to be some more coming and goings next spring but in Gladney, they have a potential shutdown corner they can count on for the long-term.