Vikings Snap Counts: Rookie tight end Conklin has career day
Minnesota rookie tight end Tyler Conklin put his name on the map this weekend.
For the first time in his professional career, Conklin hauled in multiple passes, logging two catches for a team-high (and career-best) 53 yards. Kirk Cousins targeted Conklin three times – surpringsingly, one more than star receiver Adam Thielen saw on Sunday.
Both catches moved the chains, including a 33-yard connection in the third quarter on a critical third-and-1.
Conklin has appeared in every game this year, but the 23 snaps (33 percent) he was active for is a career high.
He’s the first Vikings tight end not named Kyle Rudolph to tally over 50 receiving yards since Chase Ford in 2014.
Conklin is no stranger to having a big impact in the passing game. He notched two games of 100+ receiving yards while playing at Central Michigan in college. Despite missing the first five games last year with the Chippewas, the 23-year-old caught 35 passes for 504 yards and five scores.
Minnesota liked what it saw and traded up in the fifth round of April’s draft to select Conklin.
It appears the rookie will have a role in new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski’s schemes, even with a crowded Vikings tight end room that includes the pass-catching Rudolph and blocking phenom David Morgan. Conklin is proving he can do both.
Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:
— Dalvin Cook was on the field for 42 snaps. He had 20 touches on the day, meaning Stefanski fed him the ball 47.6 percent of the time he was on the field.
— Cook’s partner in the backfield, Latavius Murray, played 27 snaps and saw 15 carries. Two of those carries came on third-and-short, and Murray converted both plays into first downs.
— When Harrison Smith shows up on the offensive snap chart, you know it was a good week. Smith came in for two snaps to serve as the deep back in the victory formation. He also played all 69 snaps on defense.
— Aldrick Robinson caught a 40-yard bomb from Kirk Cousins for his career-best fifth touchdown of the season. He played 22 percent of the offensive snaps.
— Morgan, known for his downfield blocking abilities, returned from injury to play 23 snaps in his first game since Week 10 against Detroit. It’s probably not a coincidence that the Vikings rushed for a season-high 220 yards.
GAME 14: DOLPHINS (OFFENSE)
GAME 14: DOLPHINS (DEFENSE)