A quick glance at the 90-man roster before this past weekend would have reminded that the Vikings still did not have a fullback under contract. But despite not adding any new players at the position, the official roster on the team’s website today revealed that they now have a fullback.
That would be C.J. Ham, who has officially changed positions.
Ham, a Duluth native who played collegiately at Augustana, spent most of the 2016 season on the Vikings’ practice squad after earning an offseason roster spot last spring when he tried out at the their rookie minicamp. He was promoted to the active roster in late December but did not play.
The Vikings have not re-signed Zach Line, their lone fullback the past two seasons, and he remains a free agent. And this offseason they added a pair of talented runners to their backfield in Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook. So they told Ham his best chance of playing was a position switch.
The Vikings employed a fullback on only 19.9 percent of their snaps last season and figure to keep spreading out opponents in 2017. But 19.9 percent is better than zero, so Ham has accepted the challenge and hopes to perform well enough to keep them from signing another fullback.
It will be an adjustment for the 23-year-old, who rushed for 2,662 yards and 29 touchdowns during his four years playing at Augustana.
“It’s still fairly new to me, but I have to be an athlete and just roll with the punches a little bit,” Ham told the team’s website last weekend. “If you make mistakes, learn from them and try to do it better the next time.”
Ham was not the only Vikings youngster lining up at a new position at last weekend’s rookie minicamp. Seventh-round pick Jack Tocho, who played cornerback at N.C. State, has started his NFL career at safety.