Hartman: Vikings' Carlson looks ahead to a healthy 2013

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 7, 2013 - 6:28 AM

The tight end from Litchfield had his first year here derailed by injury and is looking to establish his role.

When the Vikings signed John Carlson as a free agent last season, big things were expected of the tight end from Litchfield, Minn.

Carlson, a second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2008 after being an All-America at Notre Dame, was expected to help make up for the retirement of the great Jim Kleinsasser.

But bad luck continued to follow Carlson, who had missed most of the 2011 season because of a shoulder injury.

“I kind of just ran down the list. I hurt my knee in training camp and had a few other issues as the season went on,” Carlson recalled at the Vikings’ organized team acitivites at Winter Park. “Missing training camp was tough, that put me behind the 8-ball a little bit, especially considering the year before I had missed the entire season. But I can’t change that, I’m focused on improving right now.

“… It was frustrating, but like I said, I’m looking forward. My focus right now is to own a role in this offense. I’m going to try and improve every day and develop a rapport with Christian [Ponder] and Matt [Cassel] and the other quarterbacks. I can’t change the past, so I’m looking forward.”

Carlson, who signed a five-year contract worth $25 million when he joined the Vikings and reportedly restructured the contract earlier this year, said he is 100 percent healthy now.

“I feel great. I feel healthy. It has been great to be out here for these OTAs and all these workouts,” he said. “That’s the goal, to try to stay healthy through this whole offseason and into training camp.”

The Vikings have a lot of talent at tight end, and if Carlson stays healthy the Vikings can have one of the best groups in the NFL.

Kyle [Rudolph] had a fantastic year last year, made the Pro Bowl and the Pro Bowl MVP, so he’s leading the way,” Carlson said.

“Then myself and Rhett Ellison, he came in here last year as a rookie and made some tremendous contributions both in the run game and the pass game. We have a couple other young guys, Chase Ford, and some people like that.

“As a tight end group it has been really exciting so far. I feel like we have been involved and offensively we’ve taken steps forward. We’re not to where we want to be yet, but we’re improving every day and that has to continue to be the goal.”

Love looking forward

Timberwolves star Kevin Love went on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio on Thursday and discussed a number of issues, including his health right now following a tough year with injuries.

“Back to full contact and full strength,” said Love, who appeared in only 18 games this season. “If I’m not 100 percent, I’m the closest thing to it. I feel great. That’s a blessing, too. It has been a while since that has been the case. … It’s never fun to deal with injuries, and hopefully I can put that behind us.”

Love also was asked if he someday would like to play for a team composed of superstars like the Heat. He responded by talking about his own teammates.

“You want to team up with big-time players in this league,” he said. “But we have Ricky Rubio, who is a great point guard. He came off of ACL surgery this past year, came out, you talk about a fan favorite, he played so, so hard every game, even when some games were out of hand, either in our favor or out of our favor. A guy like Nikola Pekovic, he averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds. … I’m great friends with Pek and great friends with Ricky. I think we’re very excited for what’s to come.”

At one point, Flip Saunders called into the show, and Love got to ask the new Wolves boss if Love would be traded. Saunders told Love he wasn’t going to trade him.

Incidentally, this weekend Saunders is heading for Italy, where he will scout a group of European players who could be drafted later this month.

  • related content

  • Minnesota Vikings John Carlson (89).

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 1 Top 7th Inning
Washington 4
Baltimore 5 Top 6th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Kansas City 5 Top 7th Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Toronto 10
Chicago WSox 0 Top 7th Inning
Detroit 1
Philadelphia 0 Top 8th Inning
Miami 2
Pittsburgh 3 Top 7th Inning
Atlanta 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Cincinnati 2
Tampa Bay 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Boston 1
Houston 0 Top 4th Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Top 4th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Arizona 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 3
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 3rd Prd 11:08
Buffalo 2
Pittsburgh 0 3rd Prd 12:59
Columbus 1
Boston 2 2nd Prd 2:30
Montreal 2
Nashville 2 2nd Prd 3:18
Tampa Bay 1
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd 8:56
Toronto 1
Detroit 1 1st Prd 5:45
Chicago 0
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close