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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Four options for the Vikings to replace Mike Hughes

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings got an important take-care-of-business win at home on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but they took a hit in the process. Mike Zimmer announced that rookie cornerback Mike Hughes will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

“This has always been a deal where somebody gets hurt and everybody else has to continue to step up,” Zimmer said. “We feel bad about Mike because I think Mike’s going to be a really good football player but we have other guys here and we expect them to do a really good job.”

Here are four ways the Vikings could approach his absence:

Give Jayron Kearse and/or Holton Hill more responsibility

The Vikings took us by surprise in Week 1 when they used Jayron Kearse as a nickel cornerback after he had spent his first two years in the NFL as a backup safety. The athletic defensive back has played 61 total snaps and allowed five catches for just 28 yards into his coverage. His progress at the position could allow Zimmer to rotate him and Mackensie Alexander based on the situation and defensive package and occasionally move Alexander to an outside spot when either Trae Waynes or Xavier Rhodes needs a rest.

Hill hasn’t seen the field very often, only playing 21 snaps through the first six weeks, but he was the Vikings’ top undrafted free agent. The former Texas standout made the team on the back of preseason progress and a high ceiling. While he may not be ready for a role as big as Hughes’ was, he could still see more action than he has thus far.

Elevate Jalen Myrick from practice squad

The 2017 seventh-round pick of the Jaguars is one of the fastest players in the NFL with a 4.28 40-yard dash. He only saw 22 snaps last year but opponents went 0-for-5 when targeting him. NFL.com draft writer Lance Zierlein wrote prior to the ’17 draft that he saw Myrick as a nickel back. Zierlein wrote:

“He’s undersized to play outside and will likely move inside to the slot. Myrick has enough foot quickness and athleticism to handle himself as a slot corner, but he’s very average as a tackler and his ball skills and pattern recognition aren’t where they need to be. He has enough ability to stick around as a backup for a little bit, but he will need to improve his anticipation to make a mark in the league.”

Sign a free agent

As you might expect, the list is underwhelming, but there are some veterans around and the Vikings have about $1.7 million on the cap according to OverTheCap.com. Here are the top names remaining on the market:

Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell , Sean Smith, Sterling Moore, William Gay, Lardarius Webb, Quinten Rollins, David Amerson, Robert McClain, Brice McCain

Full list

Make a trade

The trade market in the NFL is always a baron wasteland. However, teams might start to take on baseball and hockey’s model of selling off everything that isn’t nailed down at the trade deadline. It wouldn’t cost much for the Vikings to find a veteran depth corner. Teams like the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers should all be cashing in their chips. In a win-now type year for the Vikings, it would make sense to move a mid-round pick for a rental player.

The post Four options for the Vikings to replace Mike Hughes appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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