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C.J. Ham Makes Switch to Full-Time Fullback

Posted May 8, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — C.J. Ham took the field at Winter Park last week for rookie minicamp as one of a handful of players who spent part of 2016 with the Vikings but were eligible to participate in the three-day session.

But Ham didn’t work as a running back during team drills. He instead lined up as a fullback in front of Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook.

“I’m kind of playing a new position now,” Ham said. “(I want to show the coaches) that I can learn it and be accountable.”

The Minnesota native said he dabbled with fullback in his rookie season but mainly focused on being a running back as he spent the majority of 2016 on the practice squad.

Ham was promoted to the active roster for the final two weeks of the regular season, He didn’t see the field in Week 16’s road game against the Packers and was inactive for a Week 17 finale against the Bears, but the 23-year-old said the wheels were in motion to make the switch.

“Last year at rookie minicamp, I did running back and fullback,” Ham said. “This year not having a fullback on the roster, they told me it was possibly a position I could play.

“It’s still fairly new to me, but I have to be an athlete and just roll with the punches a little bit,” Ham added. “If you make mistakes, learn from them and try to do it better the next time.”

Ham said he’s studied tape of Minnesota’s offense in 2016 to get a feel for his new position.

“Going back and watching film definitely helped me out,” Ham said.

Ham made a strong impression on the Vikings during the 2016 preseason when he led Minnesota with 44 carries for 140 yards and two scores.

He likely won’t see as many carries this preseason. Instead, he’ll be the one leading the way for those at his former position.

On Saturday, Ham managed to post a video of the first couple steps taken by his daughter, Skylar.

“Voice of the Vikings” Paul Allen commented on Skylar’s first steps and how C.J. did in his new role during practice.

Allen encouraged Ham to channel his inner Lorenzo Neal, who played 16 seasons, made four Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.