The Vikings started training camp with three players on the physically unable to perform list, meaning they can watch practice but not participate, highlighted by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.
Munnerlyn, who signed a three-year, $11.25 million free-agent contract with the Vikings in March, is dealing with a hamstring injury that head coach Mike Zimmer termed as “slight.”
Also starting camp on the PUP list are tight end Chase Ford, who had a stress fracture in his left foot and reported on crutches with his foot in a cast, and safety Andrew Sendejo, who is dealing with injuries to his lower back and ankle.
Munnerlyn is expected to have a significant role on the Vikings defense, either as a starter at right cornerback or a heavy contributor as the nickel back.
“He’s a competitive guy. I think he does a very good job in the slot, knowing where he’s at, the different techniques,” Zimmer said. “He’s still obviously learning the techniques we have. I’ve been happy with him. He’s very, very competitive. He likes to talk a lot on the field, so we’ve got to keep him reined in a little bit. But that’s better than having to go the other way.”
In five seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Munnerlyn has 282 tackles, 5½ sacks, 39 passes defensed and seven interceptions, including five returned for touchdowns – scoring on all four interceptions over the last two seasons.
Munnerlyn is expected to help fill the void at nickel cornerback that the Vikings struggled with last year after releasing Antoine Winfield in a cost-cutting move. Munnerlyn’s contract includes $4.45 million in guarantees and will count $3.33 million against the Vikings salary cap this year, but the 5-foot-8, 198-pounder is looking forward to playing in Zimmer’s defense.
“He loves to play man to man, and I’m a man-to-man type guy,” Munnerlyn said. “I like to play man. I also can play zone, but I love to play man to man. If I stop my man from catching the ball, we all have it. So that’s something that I like to do.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Munnerlyn among three on Vikings PUP
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