The longest tenured member of the Vikings offensive line at the beginning of the 2015 season was starting center
The eighth-year veteran was sidelined with back injuries in training camp, which would later require back surgeries and meant he would land on the Vikings injured reserve.
Next up on the depth chart was
Berger went on to exceed expectations and lead the way for the NFL’s leading rusher
PFF ‘s Matt Claassen explains why:
Joe Berger was largely used in a reserve role during his first few years with the Vikings before starting at right guard during the last half of the season after replacing
Vikings third-year wide receiver Charles Johnson, who was returning from a rib injury that put him out for three weeks, would not see as much time on the field at the position going forward.
Johnson finished the season with nine receptions and 127 yards.
“It came down to a numbers game a little bit,” Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. “[Stefon] Diggs came in and had a big role. I wanted to dress more guys on defense.”
Eric Oslund of Viking Update reports that Johnson wants to ‘light it up’ for Minnesota in 2016.
Diggs was a key component in three consecutive victories against the Chiefs, Lions and the Bears heading into Week 9.
By that time, Johnson’s ribs were healed and he was ready to return, but it is hard to take a guy out of the lineup that was putting up the type of numbers Diggs was. Johnson understood that and just felt he was on the wrong end of some unfortunate circumstances.
“It wasn’t very long, just a couple weeks, few weeks (he was out), but when things are clicking and we’re winning games it’s hard to change things up,” Johnson said. “I’m a big guy, I’m built on routines. I’m built on some superstition things. Where I’m like, if I do this, this week and we win, I want to do the exact same thing. So it’s kind of just things like that, and I’m a team guy, I want to win games. That’s most important. I do want to help my team win, and it was just kind of unfortunate this season.”
Johnson is taking a positive approach to how the season turned out after being inactive for the final three weeks of the season.
“I’m a guy who came from nothing,” Johnson said. “I always work myself up to where I’m at. I understand it and I’ve been through it before. It’s just another page to my book, another thing I had to overcome and I’ll bounce back. It’s nothing.”
“Do what I do, go out there and grind and continue to get better,” he said. “Come back in here this offseason, OTAs and stuff, and keep doing what I do. Light it up.”
Kevin Boilard of FOX Sports highlights seven Vikings who are building blocks for 2016.