When your offense hasn't yet shown you they are ready for prime time you look for good news wherever you can find it. The Vikings took a hit and have lost two densive players. Both Heath Farwell and Jayme Mitchell are out for the season.
Farwell's injury is a significant blow to the Minnesota special teams, to be sure. While it's obviously bad news for Heath Farwell, and we send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery, it's somewhat good news (in a roundabout way) for guys like Vinny Ciurciu, Rufus Alexander, and Erin Henderson, who now have an increased chance to fill Farwell's spot on the roster on both special teams and as a reserve linebacker. I don't think any of them will be able to fully replace Farwell's hustle and coverage ability on kicks and punts, but you never know. . .a few years ago, Farwell was an undrafted rookie just trying to hang on, and he turned into one of the NFL's premiere special teamers. Maybe the next Heath Farwell is already at Winter Park.
The Mitchell injury is a bit disheartening as well. As the blog post from the Star-Tribune tells us, the depth chart at LDE now consists entirely of Ray Edwards and Leger Douzable. Mitchell, if you'll recall, started with the first team at LDE while Edwards was on the PUP list when camp got started. I saw Mitchell limp off of the field the other night against the Seahawks, and as a result didn't think his injury was anything terribly serious. Unfortunately, I was incorrect in my assessment.
Special Teams coach Dave Toub talks about what it takes to replace ace Brenden Ayanbedejo. Simply put, you don't.
'We're still searching for the guy that's going to step up and be a leader for us,'' Toub said. ''Brendon was a big-time leader. When things weren't going right, if the guys needed a pickup, he'd be the guy who did that. We're still searching for that guy. I don't think there's any one guy who's going to take his spot.''
One of the impressive performances of the Bears loss to Kansas City was that of Garrett Wolfe. Wolfe has been playing through pain, being only 80% recovered from a hamstring injury, but can't afford not to play.
"I haven't done anything in this league, so every opportunity I have to show something, I need to be out there,'' he said. "Those days off are for guys who have done something in the NFL."
"My injury is just one of those things I can fight through. It's not a broken foot.''