It’s been next man up in Minnesota all season long. Now, former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long is up.
The Vikings signed the offensive tackle after placing Andre Smith on injured reserve Monday, the team announced Tuesday morning. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo adds it’s a one-year deal for Long.
Long, 31, has appeared in just 11 games over the past two seasons with seven total starts. He played just a handful of snaps for the Atlanta Falcons a year ago.
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Despite suffering a pair of ACL tears, Long has been in the mix all offseason long. He signed a deal with the cheap Nike Baltimore Ravens jerseys in July, but backed out a few days later after the team requested he sign an injury waiver. He has been waiting for the right opportunity ever since.
Long, like most players who have sustained a career-altering injury, maintains that this is the healthiest he’s been in a long time. Now, we will have to see if Long is healthy enough to keep Jeremiah Sirles jersey off the field. Sirles was Smith’s initial replacement.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is stashing one veteran mercenary after the next to combat the seemingly unfair string of injuries he’s seen since late August. The only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, Minnesota has its eyes on a Super Bowl and nothing else, which explains the all-or-nothing replacement game they’ve been playing.
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Should Long be correct and truly be as healthy as he’s been since 2010, this is just another genius gamble taken by a front office that has absolutely nothing to lose at this point. Long has the bye week to prepare before starting his career in purple against the Eagles’ wide-nine defense.
Tuesday was a very important benchmark for Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman, who completed his first real training camp practice of the season after nearly blowing out his knee in June.
Combined with his walk-through workout on Monday, this is more than some of his teammates have ever seen of the 2015 first-round draft pick, which caused veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs to jokingly ask, “Who’s the new guy?”
Perriman gets it. After losing his entire rookie season to a torn PCL, you almost have to keep a good sense of humor about it all. Should he make it to the team’s season-opening game against the Bills on Sept. 11, it will represent a mountainous climb back into the starting lineup — one that the Ravens will no doubt appreciate.
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He added: “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that I won’t be ready. I’m attacking it right now like I will be ready, and I think I will.”
The rest of the piece contained your fairly standard comeback information — Perriman feels like he’s just as fast as the player Baltimore drafted a year ago. He feels like he can make sharp cuts and accelerate. He’s looking forward to spending those long, late hours with Joe Flacco building that unconscious football bond that all great receivers and quarterbacks have.
But we’re most interested in some potential game reps. Head coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t rule out playing on Saturday against the Lions. More than a practice, that would be a sight for sore eyes in Baltimore.
Count the Baltimore Ravens’ front office among those who keep an eye on NFL Media mock drafts.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome noted in a Tuesday news conference that the projections of analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis and others can be hard to miss on NFL Network.
“You can’t (watch without) getting Daniel’s and Charles Davis’ (mock), and Bucky Brooks’, and (Mike) Mayock’s,” Newsome said. “They all, they just scroll under there the whole time, you know?”
Newsome knows Jeremiah well.
Before scouting stops with the Cleveland Browns jerseys and Philadelphia Eagles jerseys, Jeremiah was a West Coast scout for the Ravens from 2005-2006. Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said he watches mock drafts to get a better idea of what other teams might be looking for in the draft.
“I look at all that stuff a lot. I believe, every team is different, but I like to try and get a sense for league value, how other teams see players,” DeCosta said. “I think mock drafts are sometimes indicative of that. So I think that’s something you should pay attention to.”
Only time will tell — the NFL draft will be held in Chicago April 28-30 — if mock drafts are on target regarding the Ravens’ plans with the No. 6 overall pick. Jeremiah has the Ravens taking versatile Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, as does Brooks. Davis projects the club to draft Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, while analyst Lance Zierlein sees Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa falling to Baltimore.