On September 12 the Vikings made a roster move that caught little attention, but is now a fairly significant factor in the Vikings upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers. One day after their first game of the regular season, the Vikings waived backup C Jon Cooper and filled his roster spot by signing C Joe Berger.
Berger hasn’t seen much of the field to this point, but that could change on Sunday because starting C John Sullivan did not practice all week and has been listed as doubtful for the game on Sunday due to a concussion suffered in last Sunday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
If the Vikings sit Sullivan on Sunday and start their #2 center, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier sounds confident that Berger can get the job done.
“If it turns out that he is going to have to start he is going to have to play well for us,” Frazier said. “We talked about it this morning in our team meeting; as long as he doesn’t feel like the pressure of the world is on his shoulders, and that he has to do anything but his job, he is going to be fine.
“He has prepared well this week in practice, he has prepared well all along, and he is a smart and tough guy. He knows our offense and he is excited about this opportunity and I think he will play well.”
Berger measures in at 6-5, 315 pounds and is a 7-year veteran out of Michigan Tech. He’s had 2 stints with the Miami Dolphins and a stop with the Dallas Cowboys in between during his NFL career, and now in Minnesota he might have a chance to make his 21st start. Berger started 14 games for the Dolphins last year and 6 the year before that.
The Vikings saw Berger as a player with good size and experience, which is why they signed him and waived Cooper. Berger also has some position flexibility because he can play guard if needed.
“A little bit of both,” Frazier responded when asked if Berger was added because of his size and experience advantage over Cooper, “along with the factor of the number of starts he had at center, along with playing at guard, but the bigger body definitely made a difference. He is a bright guy who has had some success and it looks like he will get an opportunity this Sunday.”
Tags: Joe Berger, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 350 Comments »