When the Vikings signed Geoff Schwartz this past offseason, the thinking was he could perhaps compete for a starting position at right guard while also providing depth on each side of the offensive line as a swing tackle. An injury slowed his progression during training camp, though, so the Vikings didn’t get a great look at the free agent signing before the season started.
With the season in full swing now, though, the Vikings are starting to take a closer look at the reserve lineman. They rotated Schwartz into Sunday’s game at Washington, inserting him into the lineup at right guard for several snaps.
“We wanted to be able to take a look at Geoff (Schwartz) yesterday and get him some game action,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “Yesterday allowed us to do that, and we want to be able to do it periodically. We felt like that was a good game to do it and it worked out pretty good to get him, I think he had about 11 snaps, so we got some good game-action tape that we couldn’t get in the preseason to evaluate him and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
So, how did Schwartz do in his first extended regular season action as a Viking?
“In those plays, I thought he did a good job, good enough to where we feel comfortable if something were to happen, we could get him in there,” Frazier said. “But there are some other things we want to be able to see from him, but we’ll continue to evaluate him as we go forward.”
Frazier stopped short of saying the right guard competition was suddenly open for competition. Brandon Fusco is the starter there, and the second-year player out of Slippery Rock is playing well so far. More than illustrating displeasure in Fusco’s performance or trying to shake things up along the offensive line, the Vikings goal in rotating Schwartz in seems to be exactly what Frazier stated – just to get a look at a player who hasn’t seen much action on the offensive line since signing in Minnesota.
Frazier intimated the Vikings may continue to rotate Schwartz in during games, though he didn’t say if it’d be at right guard or a different position.
Schwartz measures in at 6-6, 340 pounds and is in his 5th season out of the University of Oregon. He was a 7th-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2008 and played in 32 games with 19 starts. He missed all of last season with an injury. Schwartz’ young brother, Mitchell, was a 2nd-round pick of the Cleveland Browns last April.
Tags: Brandon Fusco, Geoff Schwartz, Leslie Frazier
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