The Vikings haven’t suffered the typical rash of hamstring injuries that normally strike their secondary in training camp. But that doesn’t mean the team isn’t dealing with depth issues — particularly at cornerback — as it continues to get things in order for the Sept. 14 season opener at San Francisco.
For starters, Josh Robinson (pectoral) remains on PUP and it doesn’t appear that he’s coming off any time soon. Secondly, promising second-year corner Jabari Price must serve a two-game suspension before he can join the mix again once the regular season starts.
With those two situations going on and the rookie Trae Waynes’ not-quite-as-fast-as-expected rise through depth chart, coach Mike Zimmer was asked if he’s comfortable with his depth at cornerback.
“Yes, I am,” Zimmer said. “I like our corners. I think we’ve got a lot of good corners that have a chance. Josh Thomas has come in and he’s shown some things. DeMarcus Van Dyke is a guy, all those guys that we have now are guys that can really run, can really accelerate. We’re starting to get some length in there, so all of these guys have a chance.
“And Van Dyke has played. Thomas, I think he started 10 games or something like that. So, these guys are all guys that have played in the league.”
When a coach throws out names unsolicited, experience covering NFL teams has shown some of us that the first name is the one to keep an eye on. Thomas has played 43 regular season games with the Lions, Jets, Seahawks and Panthers since 2011.
Asked what he likes specifically about Thomas, Zimmer said, “Quickness, acceleration, speed. He was a good special teams player and I think he’s a willing learner for just trying to come in now and trying to get the techniques and the things we’re trying to teach.”
Zimmer, being a coach who specializes in teaching defensive backs, isn’t totally satisfied with things in the secondary.
“I don’t like everything that we’re doing right now,” he said. “We’re undisciplined in some areas that we need to get better at. If we can get some of these little mistakes corrected, I think we have a chance to have a good secondary, yes.”