Vikings WR Darius Reynaud has gone through a progression during his brief NFL career. He joined the Purple last year as an undrafted rookie free agent, earned a spot on the practice squad after training camp and eventually was elevated to the active roster for 3 games last season.
Through it all, Reynaud’s progression has been based largely on his ability to contribute on special teams, primarily as a returner. As Reynaud explained on Wednesday, his progression in the NFL is familiar to his experience as a college player with the West Virginia Mountaineers.
“At West Virginia when I started off, it was the same situation as it is here,” Reynaud said. “I started off on special teams, they saw what I could do on special teams, so they bumped me up to receiver. Hopefully it’ll go the same way here.”
Reynaud made the Vikings 53-man roster at the beginning of the season this year because of his hard work last year on the practice squad and also because of his performance during the 2009 preseason. In the 2nd week of the preseason, he hauled in a 64-yard TD reception. A couple weeks later against the Cowboys in the preseason finale, Reynaud ripped off a dazzling 81-yard punt return TD.
It is that kind of versatility that allows Reynaud to provide value to the Vikings.
“The situation I’m in, there are quality players at receiver so I know my biggest way to impact the Vikings is to play special teams,” Reynaud said. “I’m just trying to take advantage of that opportunity right now.”
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