We live in a “what have you done for me lately” world these days and life in the NFL is no exception. What we’ve come to know and understand in one moment can change in a big way and in a small amount of time.
Vikings G Anthony Herrera knows that lesson well.
Herrera came to the Vikings and the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and was on the 53-man roster for the final 8 games of that season. In 2005 he fought his way into the starting lineup for the final 6 games, but then he was inactive for 13 games in 2006. Finally in 2007 Herrera cracked the starting lineup and stayed there. He was the starter at RG for the final 12 games of that season and remained there ever since.
Then Herrera suffered a knee injury 10 games into the 2010 season, which landed him on the Reserve/Injured list. Seemingly from that moment on, many questioned whether Herrera would make it back to the starting lineup. Being a competitive and fiery individual, the sentiment that he might not make it back to the lineup probably bothered Herrera.
But it also seems to have motivated him to prove everyone wrong. Again.
When you make an NFL roster and eventually become a productive starter after joining the League as an undrafted free agent, you demonstrate an ability and willingness to prove yourself. According to Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier, that’s exactly the mindset Herrera has right now.
“Oh yeah, he has something to prove,” Frazier said on Thursday when asked if he thought Herrera was playing with a chip on his shoulder. “And he wants to prove something to everybody, including us as coaches [as to] whether or not he can do it. We’re all excited to see him come back and play and we’re all pulling for him. He’s a tremendous competitor, a leader for our offensive line and our team and we’re all pulling for him and hoping for the best.”
The best would be if Herrera could play and start in Saturday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, and also come out of that game feeling healthy. Whether or not Herrera will be ready to go for Week 1 in San Diego on September 11, no one knows for sure. Right now, Frazier said, the plan is for Herrera to start the game and get an extended look with the first-team offense.
“We’ll have a better determination after this game,” Frazier said. “He’s going to play for the first time in a long time, so we’ll have to get some stuff on tape, talk to him after the ballgame and just see where he is. And just try to make a decision going forward.”
I wouldn’t bet against him.
Tags: Anthony Herrera, Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 73 Comments »