Desmond Bishop made his first start for the Vikings on Sunday. It might have been his last.
Bishop suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a 35-10 loss to Carolina and will soon undergo season-ending surgery. He recently had moved ahead of Marvin Mitchell at weakside linebacker.
Bishop, 29, missed last season with the Packers because of a torn hamstring, then was signed by the Vikings this summer to a one-year contract.
After Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced the injury, Bishop tweeted (@Desbishop55), “Ppl close to me won’t agree but I feel I let u down. To my family, teammates, coaches, Vikings organization, fans & mostly myself. I’m sorry. So much I wanted to accomplish this year, so much I wanted to help my team accomplish is gone! Miffed that I couldn’t prove doubters wrong.”
Frazier said the weakside position would be filled by either Mitchell or rookie Gerald Hodges, but didn’t rule out bringing in another linebacker this week.
Safety Harrison Smith (turf toe) had an MRI on Monday, but results weren’t known when Frazier addressed the media.
Smith walked through the locker room during the access period wearing a walking boot and a grimace. Turf toe is commonly a ligament sprain around the joint of a big toe.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes sprained an ankle in Sunday’s loss, but Frazier said the rookie should be ready for Monday night’s game against the Giants.
No quarterback news
Frazier said he would make a decision on which quarterback will start Wednesday.
Matt Cassel struggled to move the team Sunday in relief of the benched Christian Ponder, and it seems likely that newly acquired Josh Freeman might take over.
“It would be a bit difficult [to step in to the Vikings’ system], but Josh is a bright young man,” Frazier said. “I want to talk with him a little bit and just pick his brain some, talk through some things and see where he is. Our offensive coaches will do the same.”
On further review
Frazier seemed to absolve cornerback Josh Robinson from much of the blame Robinson has been taking after being apparently victimized Sunday for two touchdowns — a 2-yarder to Steve Smith and a 79-yarder to Brandon LaFell. LaFell beat Robinson out of the slot on the 79-yarder, but it looked as if Robinson anticipated zone coverage and Rhodes was playing man-to-man. Rhodes, as it turns out, might have had coverage responsibility.
“Josh actually did a pretty good job for us yesterday,” Frazier said. “I know some will think he didn’t do some things well, but … he had one of his better ballgames inside, didn’t give up any big plays for us, which was encouraging.
“Xavier … there are some things he can definitely do better, he’s got to defend certain routes better than he is, but … as he gains more experience, he gets put in some of those same situations, he should get better and better.”
Rhodes, one of the few players to appear in the locker room during a one-hour media access, didn’t go into detail on the 79-yarder, calling it a “miserror.”
Silver linings playbook
With his offense and defense under fire, Frazier did find a positive from Sunday’s loss.
Rookie punter Jeff Locke averaged 49.8 yards on four punts, and also kicked off three times because Blair Walsh had a tweaked hamstring.
“Jeff Locke may have had his best outing to this point — did a really good job for us, both on kickoff and on punts as well,” Frazier said. “And we did a good job covering kicks.”