With top blocking tight end David Morgan already having been declared out with a knee injury, the Vikings currently have just two active tight ends on the roster in Kyle Rudolph and rookie Tyler Conklin. Conklin has told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he’s preparing for a bigger role in the offense in Morgan’s absence.
“I’m really excited about it,’’ Conklin said of playing more. “It’s a great challenge. It’s a huge game and we’re going against a great defense, but I think I’m prepared and I’m excited and ready to do anything they need me to do.’’
The Vikings do have former San Francisco 49ers tight end Cole Hikutini on the practice squad, but as of Saturday afternoon there had not been any plans announced to bring him to the active roster.
Morgan has only played about a quarter of the Vikings’ snaps on offense this season. . .Conklin has only played about 12% of the snaps. . .but Morgan’s blocking skills were something that the Vikings were hoping to use to get their running game going coming out of the bye week. Conklin, a converted basketball player, is not exactly known for his blocking prowess at this point in his young career.
The Vikings could potentially use fullback (and future Pro Bowler) C.J. Ham to mitigate Morgan’s absence as well. For now, however, it appears that John DeFilippo’s offense is only going to have two tight ends available when they take on the Bears on Sunday night.