The Minnesota Vikings are having some major injury issues along their offensive line, and have added former #1 overall draft pick tackle Jake Long to help.
Staying healthy on the offensive line seems to be a major problem for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2016 NFL season. Through just five weeks of the NFL season, the team has played 4 different offensive tackles, and now a big name could join that list.
The Minnesota Vikings announced today on their official website that the team has signed offensive tackle Jake Long. No term of the deal were announced, but the fact of the matter was that the Vikings needed help immediately and Long presented the best possible option in free agency.
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Long is no stranger to injuries himself and hasn’t started a NFL game since 2014, but he should give some insurance for current right tackle Jeremiah Sirles and even left tackle T.J. Clemmings.
Here is what the Minnesota Vikings had to say about the signing of Jake Long:
“Long, the No. 1 overall pick by Miami in the 2008 NFL Draft, has played in 100 games, including 96 starts. Long spent his first five seasons with the Dolphins, starting all 74 games he played for Miami at left tackle.
Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano was in his first of four seasons as Dolphins head coach when Miami drafted Long, who opened his career with four straight selections to the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro season in 2010.”
While Long is a much bigger name than the two starting offensive tackles for the Minnesota Vikings, expectations should be tapered. Even though he was a #1 overall pick 8 years ago, a 4 time Pro Bowl player, and a 2 time All Pro, it would be surprising to see him step in for either of the two current starters at this point of the season.
Still, the signing of Jake Long allows the Vikings to have some flexibility at a position where injuries have left the team decimated. This should be considered a solid signing for a team doing everything they can to make a run at a championship this year.