Laquon Treadwell has dealt with a handful of injuries during his disappointing rookie season, which has two games remaining.
A busted thumb kept him out of the Eagles game. He sat out with an injured hamstring in Washington. Treadwell was unable to practice or play last week against the Colts due to an ankle ailment.
But the Vikings’ first-overall pick has been active for nine games and has played just 80 snaps on offense, or about nine per game, the fewest in four years among 18 relatively healthy first-round receivers. Top picks Josh Doctson, Breshad Perriman and Kevin White all landed on injured reserve early in their team’s season.
Only A.J. Jenkins, the 30th-overall pick by San Francisco in 2012, played fewer rookie snaps while healthy than Treadwell, the Vikings’ 23rd-overall pick. Jenkins was active for only three games and saw 35 snaps for the 49ers, who traded him to Kansas City the following summer.
It’s not good company for Treadwell (6-2, 215) in a lost season that has produced just one catch for 15 yards.
The 21-year old was a healthy scratch twice in the first three games when Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he wanted to see better practices from the rookie. He’s added 47 snaps on special teams as a gunner.
Jenkins averaged more snaps (11) per game than Treadwell (9) to this point, per Football Outsiders, but Jenkins was active only three times for San Francisco. Another recent slow starter was drafted by the Colts last year in Phillip Dorsett, who saw only 212 snaps in 11 games.
Treadwell has lost snaps to Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson.at split end. Patterson, the 2013 first-round pick, has led the way for an offense predicated on quick releases and short routes.
Though receiver hasn’t been a primary issue for a 31st-ranked offense that has lost four offensive tackles to season-ending injuries or illnesses with a league-worst run game. Stefon Diggs is 126 yards away from becoming the franchise’s first receiver in seven years to reach 1,000 yards.
Even so, Treadwell’s complete absence from the offense is rare among recent and relatively healthy NFL first-round picks. Going back a decade, even the likes of Kansas City’s Jon Baldwin (2011) and San Diego’s Craig Davis (2007) caught at least 20 passes as rookies before exiting the league.
Despite the unproductive season to date, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer gave Treadwell a vote of confidence this week.
“I think he’s going to be a good player,” Zimmer said.