EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.– He had two interceptions in just 22 defensive snaps, and he'll be back with the Vikings in 2016.
The Vikings announced Friday they have re-signed defensive end Justin Trattou. The 2016 season will mark Trattou's sixth in the league and fourth in purple and gold. With his re-signing, Trattou becomes the 11th Vikings player returning who was scheduled to hit free agency or became a free agent on March 9. Click here for the 2016 Vikings Free Agency Tracker.
Trattou joined the Vikings in October 2013 after playing two-plus seasons with the New York Giants and earning a Super Bowl XLVI ring with them his rookie year. Since coming to Minnesota, Trattou has been effective on special teams and in a rotational role on defense.
In 2015, Trattou played just five games due to a foot injury but recorded two passes defensed and two interceptions. Trattou recorded his first two career INTs against NFC North opponents Detroit and Chicago on Sept. 20 and Dec. 20, respectively.
Fellow defensive end Brian Robison said Trattou's ability to come in off the bench and create plays reflects on the strength and depth of the Vikings defense as a whole.
"I'm starting to think we need to put [Justin] in coverage more," Robison joked in December. "We have so many guys that I think can play some good ball. You see a guy like Trattou who really hasn't seen a lot of playing time this season, but when he does, he's been making some splash plays for us. I think that really just speaks volumes about our unit."
Trattou has nine tackles in 21 games during his career. Although his stats may not be flashy, Trattou provides Minnesota with added depth in a defense that flourished under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer in 2015.
Trattou has pre-Vikings connections with two defensive line teammates. He and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd overlapped at Florida during the 2010 season and helped the Gators to an 8-5 record, including a 37-24 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Prior to joining the Vikings, Trattou and nose tackle Linval Joseph played together for the New York Giants in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to Trattou, the Vikings have announced the re-signings of Terence Newman, Matt Asiata, Audie Cole, Andrew Sendejo, Kenrick Ellis, Rhett Ellison, Marcus Sherels, Mike Harris, Adam Thielen and Carter Bykowski. Minnesota also tendered an offer to Zach Line and will have first right of refusal if another team attempts to sign the fullback before a deadline next month.