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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Rookie Edmond Robinson preparing for first start, ‘ready to go’ if Barr held out

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings’ training room is a crowded place this week, and they may not be getting many reinforcements back in time for Thursday night’s kickoff in Arizona.

Defense, the Vikings’ backbone, has been hit the hardest. Coach Mike Zimmer’s group has surrendered 30 or more points in two of the last three games, after holding every opponent to under 24 points through the first nine weeks. Stalwarts at every level, including safety Harrison Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr and nose tackle Linval Joseph, are recovering from nagging injuries and have not practiced on Monday or Tuesday, making them long-shots to play on Thursday.

“This is the NFL, and guys get banged up all the time,” Zimmer said. “We’re not the only team that has guys hurt. So, line up and go play. Figure out what they can do and do it good.”

One of the guys Zimmer is trying to put in the best spot is rookie linebacker Edmond Robinson, who said he’s being prepared to make his first career start on Thursday night in Arizona as Barr has been held out with a groin injury he re-aggravated in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. Barr has also played through a broken left hand and knee issues.

Robinson, 23, has appeared in five games, but not on Sunday since he was inactive. When Barr left the loss in the first quarter, the Vikings had to turn to Jason Trusnik, who was signed off the couch last month. Trusnik missed a few tackles, including on Thomas Rawls’ five-yard touchdown run in the first half, and could return to a special-teams only role as the Vikings are grooming Robinson for his close up.

“I feel pretty comfortable,” Robinson said Tuesday. “Been practicing for these days for the last few weeks…I’ve been in the base defense at [Barr’s spot] this week, they’ve been helping me, preparing me to get ready to play. We’re just taking it day by day, but I’m ready to go.”

Robinson was the Vikings’ 10th and final draft pick in May, landing him in the seventh round (232nd overall) out of Division-II Newberry. He drew preseason praise from special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for his play on special teams, which has been the rookie’s only role through three-quarters of this season. Robinson has yet to play a snap on defense in 12 games, seven of which he’s watched from the sideline in street clothes.

With injuries to Barr and Audie Cole, the midseason trade of former starter Gerald Hodges, and the Texans’ signing of Brian Peters off the practice squad, the Vikings’ once-deep linebacker corps has thinned. Robinson remains, and says he’s getting some good advice from teammates.

“[Barr] gives me pointers,” Robinson said. “Just letting me know where I should fit in certain coverages and what I should be looking for in certain reads and stuff, just giving me small tidbits that he’s gained over the last year and a half. It’s definitely been helpful having him and Chad [Greenway] in there, just helping me out along the way.”

The post Rookie Edmond Robinson preparing for first start, ‘ready to go’ if Barr held out appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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