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Vikings Call On Former Third String Cornelius Edison As Starting Center

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Edison will play this Sunday against the Denver Broncos

John Autey, twincities.com
John Autey, twincities.com

Cornelius Edison went from playing six games in the NFL as a special teams’ player with the Chicago Bears to now starting for the Minnesota Vikings as their center in two short years.

Edison finds himself as the starting center because of injuries to both Pat Elflein, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of shoulder surgery, and backup Nick Easton, who is recovering from a herniated disc in his neck that required surgery.

The third-stringer is now the starter, and will be making his debut this Saturday as the Vikings play the Denver Broncos in the first preseason game at 8:00 PM, according to the Pioneer Press.

His football career started at Curtis Senior High School and moved onto to Portland State as an under recruited offensive lineman. His versatility got him notoriety and won him the FCS Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top FBS center as a Senior. While he was projected to go as a late round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, he tore his ACL in the left knee in the pre-draft process.

Edison’s career moved forward as the Bears contacted him six months later with a position on their practice squad but was released after two seasons.

The Vikings don’t seem to be too worried about how Edison will step into his new role this Sunday. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo spoke with the Pioneer Press about Edison about how he is doing with this change. “He has stepped in and done really, really well. I’m proud of him. He plays with great leverage. He has strong hands. He stays low to the ground. He’s smart. He hasn’t messed up a snap yet in terms of the cadence. He’s done a fantastic job of stepping in there, and we’re happy with where he’s at.”

While Edison isn’t new this position he said one of the best teaching moments he has had is going against Linval Joseph. Edison said of Joseph, “He’s going to get after it and go until that whistle blows. You need a guy like that on the offensive line. You’ve got to have a guy that’s going to have heart and bring it every day.”

Edison knows that his time as starter is short lived because Elfein will come off the PUP list and reclaim his spot, but right now he is enjoying the moment. “I haven’t really thought about that too much. Just going out there every day and trying to get better.”