Not bad as far as first impressions go

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2012 - 7:13 AM

Looking for a spark in their passing game with Percy Harvin injured, the Vikings turned right away to rookie Jarius Wright.

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Jarius Wright, a rookie fourth-round draft pick out of Arkansas, ran a deep post route and hauled in a 54-yard pass from Christian Ponder on the second regular-season snap of his career. Wright just missed scoring his first touchdown on the play. Turned out he would get another chance.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

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When it mattered most, Jarius Wright made the catch and changed the perception of how good the Vikings' receiving corps can be when Percy Harvin returns from a sprained left ankle.

Funny how things in the NFL can change so drastically in a span of three hours each week.

In Friday's practice, Wright, the fourth-round draft pick out of Arkansas, dropped the deep ball the Vikings were banking on being open early in Sunday's game against the Lions at Mall of America Field.

"He was really down," coach Leslie Frazier said after Sunday's 34-24 win over the Lions at Mall of America Field. "He was thinking that we might not call it in the game."

You bet he was, Wright said.

"I was like, 'I can't miss my moment,'" Wright said. "That pass there, if I had dropped it, who knows what would have happened."

Lined up tight in a three-receiver set to the right on third-and-10 on the Vikings' first possession, Wright ran a deep post against a Cover 2 scheme. The middle linebacker didn't pick him up, and the safety couldn't match his speed.

Christian Ponder made a nice throw. Wright made a nicer diving catch, grabbing the ball for a 54-yard gain on only the second regular-season snap of his NFL career. Two plays later, Wright caught the cornerback sneaking inside, turned toward the pylon and made an easy grab for a 3-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

In three snaps, he went from being the unknown slot receiver stuck on the inactive list behind the similarly skilled Harvin to a playmaker who presumably will be worked into the offense alongside Harvin when the Vikings play at Chicago following next week's bye.

"I think it would be easy [to work him in], especially having a guy like Bill Musgrave as our offensive coordinator," Ponder said. "He's going to find ways to get both of them the ball. Jarius obviously earned a spot to play for the rest of the year. We want to get him out on the field. They are two very dynamic players, which would be fun to have on the field."

Wright finished with three catches for 65 yards and a smile when asked about the possibility of playing with Harvin instead of sitting behind him.

"I would love to see me and Percy on the field at the same time," Wright said. "We can stretch the field, and we can also get yards after the catch. Not to say other receivers can't do that, but me and Percy on the field at the same time would be a great sight to see."

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Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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