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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Given an opportunity, Jarius Wright makes a case for getting more playing time

By Judd Zulgad

MINNEAPOLIS – Jarius Wright appeared in all 16 regular-season games with the Vikings from 2013 through 2015, but that changed last year when the wide receiver caught a career-low 11 passes in only eight games.

The assumption was that Wright would be jettisoned during the offseason but that did not happen. Surprisingly, Wright was fine with the decision to keep him in purple.

“I’ve been here in Minnesota my whole career,” said Wright, a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 2012. “Just all the blessings to still be here, still remain here. The team, they could have cut me, they could have let me go, but I’m still here. So there’s never once been the thought that I would want to be somewhere else. … I’m going to try to be here as long as possible.”

On Sunday, Wright made a case for why the Vikings might want to give him more playing time if they are going to keep him around.

With Stefon Diggs and Michael Floyd out because of injuries, Wright caught three passes for 54 yards. That gave him seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown in seven games this season. He is four catches shy of his total from 2016 and already has 26 more receiving yards.

Wright did not find out that Floyd would sit out because of a hamstring injury until Sunday morning but that didn’t bother him. “I’m a vet in this league,” Wright said. “I know how things happen, so I’m always ready to go if anybody goes down. I’m always ready to go regardless of the situation. I know you have to be like that in the NFL.”

Wright wasn’t just ready to go.

He also made two outstanding catches.

On third-and-5 in the opening quarter, Wright caught a 12-yard pass from Case Keenum to move the ball into Ravens territory. Kai Forbath ended that drive with a 52-yard field goal that tied the score.

In the fourth quarter, Wright made a diving catch that went for a 30-yard gain on second-and-10 from the Vikings’ 48-yard line. Wright’s grab put the ball at the Ravens’ 22 and Forbath kicked another field goal to end that drive.

“Jarius kind of does what he always does,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He makes plays when he gets the opportunities. … He’s a great kid and works real hard and when he gets his number called he usually produces.”

Wright should be getting his number called more often, or at least more than Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell and Wright each had four targets on Sunday, with Treadwell catching three passes for 28 yards.

The problem was that Treadwell’s mistake on the Vikings’ opening offensive play of the first quarter resulted in the Ravens getting the opening points of the game. Keenum threw a deep pass from the Ravens’ 36-yard line for Treadwell down the right sideline. Treadwell, the Vikings’ first-round pick in 2016, mistimed his leap before tipping the ball with each hand and right to Baltimore cornerback Brandon Carr.

The Ravens then went 35 yards on eight plays — Carr brought the ball back to the Ravens 35 — before kicker Justin Tucker hit from 48 yards.

Wright, unlike Treadwell, made the most of his opportunities. When will the next opportunity come? Wright admits that uncertainty isn’t easy on him.

“It’s very trying, but my faith is strong and I believe in God and I understand that God has plan for me,” Wright said. “I truly believe that. You all talk to me all the time, and I’ve been the same guy. I’ve sat back and waited my turn and always thought about taking advantage of opportunities, and I did my best to do that today.”

The post Given an opportunity, Jarius Wright makes a case for getting more playing time appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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