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Minnesota Vikings work out two veteran defensive ends

Neither of whom was Brian Robison

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, it was announced that the Minnesota Vikings had held workouts for two veteran defensive ends in what appears to be an effort to bolster the position in the continued absence of Everson Griffen.

The team held workouts for veterans Lamarr Houston and Robert Ayers.

Houston is probably the more familiar name to Vikings fans, as he most recently played with the Chicago Bears from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, he had spent four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, and in 2017 split his time between the Houston Texans and a return to Chicago. In his last five games with the Bears in 2017, he did record four sacks.

Houston’s most infamous moment came back in October of 2014, his first year with the Bears. In a game against the New England Patriots (that the Bears lost by 25 points), Houston sacked Patriots’ backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. . .and, in the ensuing celebration, managed to tear his ACL and miss the rest of the season.

Ayers was the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, but never really seemed to get things going in the Mile High City. After his time with the Broncos was over following the 2013 season, he spent two years with the New York Giants, followed by two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had signed with the Detroit Lions back in August, but was with the team for just one day before he was released for reasons I’m not completely sure of.

With the Vikings working out defensive ends, it might surprise some people that Brian Robison wasn’t in Eagan for a workout. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that probably has to do with the fact that Robison is a known quantity to the Vikings, and they know that if they want to bring him back they can do that. I’m not sure if either Houston or Ayers is better than Robison at this point, but it would appear that the Vikings are doing their due diligence and simply checking out who else might be available.

As of now, it doesn’t sound like a signing of either Houston or Ayers is imminent. If that changes, we will pass that news along to you.