With Charles Johnson out in Week 4 with a rib injury, Jarius Wright thought he would be able to play. He did, but it was only one snap before he was pulled in favor of Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie Stefon Diggs.
After the bye week off, Wright returned to practice on Monday and said he was full-go.
“I didn’t miss a beat. I acted like it was a regular day for me,” he said.
“I’m definitely ready to go. We’ll see how the coaches play it. I’m not really sure of how it will be this week either. I just have to show them I can play.”
Making it through a full practice is a good start. Wright didn’t practice on the Wednesday and Thursday before the Week 4 game against the Denver Broncos after hurting his hand the previous week and was limited on that Friday.
He was good enough to be active against the Broncos but said he was only 50 to 60 percent.
He figured the coaches were trying to take care of him by pulling him after one snap and seeing how well the backups were performing.
“The guys we had out there were doing a great job. They really didn’t need any help,” Wright said. “I think it was a week that for them – if I was thinking like the coaches – to take care of me instead of having me out there with a hurt hand. Guys like Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, they’re definitely better than me (with) them 100 percent and me 50 or 60 percent.”
Turns out the receiver-by-committee approach worked. The Denver game was only the sixth time in Vikings history that wide receivers caught at least 21 passes in a road game and the first time that has happened without Cris Carter being part of mix.
Mike Wallace had eight catches, Diggs six, Thielen six and Cordarrelle Patterson one. Wright wasn’t targeted in his one play and Johnson was inactive for the game.
Despite Diggs coming away with six catches on 10 targets in his NFL debut, Zimmer said the only thing that surprised him about the rookie’s performance was a negative aspect.
“That he put the ball on the ground twice,” Zimmer said. “Other than that, no (nothing surprised him).”
Either way, Wright expects to play Sunday.
“(The hand) feels pretty good,” he said. “The bye week definitely gave it some time to heal and to feel better without treating it, just letting it naturally heal.”