EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Desmond Bishop spent his first regular-season week with the Minnesota Vikings like he spent each of the 16 weeks last season in Green Bay — as a spectator.
Bishop, who missed all of last season with a torn hamstring, was active for Sunday’s 34-24 loss at Detroit, but was one of three players who didn’t see action along with backup quarterback Matt Cassel and backup offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb. The Vikings started and played most of the game in the nickel defense, with Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson serving as the linebackers.
Asked Monday what it might take for him to get on the field, Bishop replied: “Luck. Prayer.”
When Bishop signed with Minnesota in the offseason, he was hoping to re-establish his career after missing 2012 and being released by the Packers. Bishop has proven he’s healthy again and isn’t sure why he has been unable to crack the lineup.
“Um, I don’t know,” Bishop said when asked what he meant by needing luck. “It’s luck. I don’t know. I don’t really know how to explain it actually.”
Against Detroit’s pass-heavy offense, the Vikings didn’t use three linebackers much Sunday, which limited Bishop’s chances. Marvin Mitchell was the third linebacker, playing the weakside for 15 of the 80 defensive snaps.
“I don’t know if there’s anything more he needs to do other than just to stay healthy and continue to work as hard as he can,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “We do have a plan for him, and we’ll see how things go this week. Nothing different that he has to do, other than to continue to learn, and continue to work as hard as he can.”
Bishop said he’s being patient and waiting for his chance. He believes he’s proven his ability when healthy and feels he’s done enough to prove to Minnesota he he’s healthy again.
“Yeah, I think I’ve proved myself, proved that I’m back healthy and I think that was the main thing that they wanted to see,” Bishop said. “When I was healthy and when I played, I showed that I play at a high level. So, I don’t think it was a talent thing, just more make sure my injury was strong and I was back healthy.”
When Bishop signed, many believed he would eventually challenge for a starting spot either in the middle or the weakside, depending on where Henderson started. Bishop led the Packers with 115 tackles in 2011. He also had a career-high five sacks that year before missing all of last season.
Bishop said he learned patience when he was a backup his first three years with Green Bay before developing into a starter, patience that is serving him now.
“Absolutely,” Bishop said when asked if it’s tough to be patient. “My first three years in the league I felt the same way, I was ready and I had to be patient for three years. So, I kind of got the hang of it now. It’s definitely a little tough because I’m a competitor and I feel like I can help the team. That’s not really my call, so I’m just waiting for my opportunity.”
Williams expected back: Frazier said defensive tackle Kevin Williams, dealing with a knee injury suffered in the third preseason game, could return this week and possibly participate in practice when the team resumes on Wednesday.
Williams has a bone bruise and said last week he would be “shocked” if he doesn’t return for next week’s game at Chicago. Without Williams, Minnesota’s defense allowed Reggie Bush to run for 90 yards on 21 carries and backup Joique Bell had 25 yards on six carries.
“Well, Kevin’s a stalwart for our defense, and has been for a long time,” Frazier said. “You miss Kevin and you’re definitely going to be a little bit different on defense without him, and hopefully we’ll have him back this next week.”
Patterson’s time was a coach’s decision: Rookie receiver and returner Cordarrelle Patterson played only five offensive snaps during Sunday’s game. He had one catch for 10 yards on a designed receiver screen.
Patterson was listed on the injury report last week with a back injury, but Frazier said the injury wasn’t a reason for the limited playing time.
“No, no, he was healthy,” Frazier said. “He’s healthy. We’re going to try and get him a few more snaps, but we need to get a few more first downs and stay on the field longer with our offense. But we want to get him more snaps.”
Patterson had two kickoff returns Sunday for 54 yards and was back for each of the seven kickoffs. Frazier said Patterson has a handle on the offense and the reason he didn’t play more was a “coach’s decision.”
“That’s not an issue,” Frazier said of Patterson picking up the offense. “Coach’s decision.”
Backbreaking screen: The biggest play of the game for Detroit’s offense was a 77-yard touchdown by Bush on a screen pass. Bush went inside to catch a quick pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford and was untouched on his way to the end zone.
Frazier felt the team handled the Lions’ screen passes well, except for Bush’s big play.
“We were kind of blocked out on a couple where we needed certain guys to fit in certain positions and they didn’t,” Frazier said. “The one big play was the 77-yarder. Others were maybe a 6-yarder or an 8-yarder, but the 77-yarder, that was a back-breaker. We’ve just got to do a better job of fitting it. That play should not end up being a touchdown, a 77-yard touchdown. So we’ve got to do a better job of fitting up screens.”
Olsen, Reed reach settlements: Offensive lineman Seth Olsen and defensive end D’Aundre Reed, who were injured in the final preseason game two weeks ago, reportedly reach agreements with the team on injury settlements. With their settlements, reported by Viking Update, Olsen and Reed become free agents. They were placed on injured reserve when the Vikings set their 53-man roster on Aug. 31.
Olsen, 27, was taken off the field on a stretcher in his final game and was diagnosed with a concussion. A former practice-squad player for Minnesota, Olsen was signed this offseason for depth at offensive line after spending the past two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
Reed, 25, was a seventh-round draft choice by the Vikings in 2011. He was on the active roster for his entire rookie season but was inactive for each game. He played in six games last season. Reed suffered an ankle injury in the preseason.