Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jabari Price had a 2015 season that he is going to want to forget. It started out on the wrong foot, as he had to serve a two-game suspension at the start of the season after being arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving after the team’s 2014 finale. That charge was later reduced to careless driving.
It appeared Price was having a good offseason before the suspension was announced and je appeared to be climbing the depth chart.
Price rejoined the team on Sept. 21 but suffered an injury to his right shoulder on Sept. 30, which kept him out of practice Oct. 1 and 2 and was the reason he was ruled as out for the Vikings’ game against the Denver Broncos in Week 3 of the regular season.
Price was eventually placed on the injured reserve on Oct. 27 after meeting with a doctor and finding out his injury was a lot worse than he originally thought.
“I kind of banged it up (in practice) and it required for me to get surgery right away,” he said. “I went in with Dr. Andrews and it was more damage than I thought it was, it was worse than I thought it was, so it was something that I couldn’t play through. I kind of just had to get it fixed right away.”
Price knows 2016 is going to be an important offseason for him, arguably the most important one of his young career. He will be entering into his third season in the NFL and is going to need to come in Day 1 of offseason workouts ready to compete and ready to prove to the coaching staff that he belongs with the team.
“Right now I have to go back and work like I never did before,” he said. “Come back and show them why I belong. It didn’t go as planned, obviously, nobody wants to go out hurt. So I want to come back and show them why I belong and what I can truly do for this team, so I definitely have a lot of plans this offseason.”
Before he can compete for a roster spot, though, he has to first get his shoulder back feeling 100 percent. His rehab has been going well so far and he has not suffered any setbacks since getting the surgery during Week 5 of the regular season.
He was not given a timetable of when he should be back to feeling 100 percent, so he is going to continue rehabbing at Winter Park throughout the offseason to make sure he is ready to go when the team meets up again in the spring.
“I know I’ll be rehabbing here through this entire offseason, though,” he said. “I feel fine; right now I feel fine. I started back running the other day and working on cardio, but I feel fine.”
There is plenty of time for him to take his rehab process slow and make sure he does everything correctly so he does not risk any setbacks. He wants to get back on the field as soon as possible, and when asked if he will be ready to go when the offseason workouts begin he said, “No question, I’ll be there.”