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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zulgad: Laquon Treadwell could be odd man out when Michael Floyd returns

By Judd Zulgad

The Vikings are nearing what could be an interesting decision.

Michael Floyd has one game remaining to serve on the four-game suspension he was handed in July for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That means the veteran wide receiver, who signed a one-year contract with the Vikings in May, will be eligible to return on Oct. 9 when Minnesota plays the Bears at Soldier Field.

Floyd has the potential to become another vertical threat in an offense that has taken advantage of the down-field abilities of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. But for that to happen, the Vikings will have to make room on their 46-man game-day roster for Floyd and likely subtract a receiver who has been active so far.

A year ago, that guy almost certainly would have been Jarius Wright. The sixth-year receiver played in all 16 games from 2013 to 2015 before being active for only eight in 2016. But if the Vikings continue to dress four receivers, as they have done the past two weeks, once Floyd returns, it’s not a given Wright will be the odd man out.

That designation could fall to Laquon Treadwell, the Vikings’ first-round pick in the 2016 draft. Treadwell had a disappointing rookie season, catching only one pass for 15 yards in nine games and being targeted on only three occasions.

It came as no surprise that the Vikings spent the offseason attempting to put a positive spin on where Treadwell’s career was headed. The Vikings told us how impressive Treadwell looked in workouts and explained he had been slowed by an injury last season.

This year was going to be different.

But then Treadwell missed time after being injured in training camp. He worked with the first unit before and after his return and has played in all three games so far.

The results have been mixed.

Treadwell was targeted six times and caught three passes for 33 yards from Case Keenum in the Vikings’ loss at Pittsburgh in Week 2, but in Minnesota’s two victories he has been targeted a total of two times, catching both passes, for a grand total of nine yards.

Wright, meanwhile, caught one pass for 21 yards in the opener against New Orleans, one pass for 9 yards at Pittsburgh and two passes for 9 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Treadwell’s lack of speed is well known. The problem is that 6-foot-2, 215-pound wide out hasn’t turned into the Red Zone threat many believed he would.

Thielen and Diggs are the Vikings’ star receivers and if Floyd is going to be worked into the mix, the fourth receiver is going to have to be a player who understands his role and can make a contribution in limited playing time. Coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur might feel Wright is the better choice.

Making Treadwell inactive would be the latest indication that the former University of Mississippi star is getting closer to being a bust. At least general manager Rick Spielman can point to the fact that his first pick in the 2017 draft, running back Dalvin Cook, looks to be a great find.

Cook, who slid to the second round because of off-the-field concerns, is second in the NFL with 288 rushing yards and fourth in all-purpose yards with 370. He headlines a Vikings’ rookie class that already has 43 more snaps of playing time through three games than Minnesota’s rookie class had all of last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

That’s good news for this rookie class but a reminder of just how ineffective the Vikings’ rookies were a year ago. It appears not much might change when it comes to Treadwell.

The post Zulgad: Laquon Treadwell could be odd man out when Michael Floyd returns appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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