After missing the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury, Jarius Wright returned to practice this weekend with a feeling of letting his teammates down.
“I think of myself as one of the leaders of the receiver room so I felt my guys were going to war without their leader. That’s kind of the feeling,” Wright said after his second straight day of practice on Sunday.
Wright pulled up clutching at his hamstring during a Minnesota Vikings training camp practice in Mankato, causing him to miss a couple weeks of practice, so getting back on the field was a good feeling.
But even before his injury, the Minnesota Vikings had been using Adam Thielen more with the first-team offense than Wright. Of course Wright took notice – why wouldn’t he as the team’s primary slot receiver last year? – but he maintains he tries hard not to overanalyze the situation.
“As far as me, I try to keep from overanalyzing things or think about things like that. I’ll just let the man upstairs worry about that and I can control what I can control on the field,” he said.
“I just do what I’m told. Whatever happens or whenever I get a chance to make a play I can guarantee that I’ll definitely make the play.”
Wright has been a steady playmaker for the Vikings for years, catching 124 passes for 1,774 over four regular seasons and making at least three starts in each of his last three seasons.
This offseason, even when Wright was healthy, Thielen had been getting more time with the first-team offense. However, Wright is confident enough in his ability to try to block that out.
“There’s never any concern with that part. I know what I can do and I think the Vikings also know what I can do. I’ve always been the same guy for five years and I think I make a lot of plays,” he said.
“It gets easier. I’m a very Christian guy, so I just put my faith in God and he’ll take care of it for sure.”
For now, Wright is glad to be back on the practice field, even if Teddy Bridgewater isn’t throwing passes because of an injury. Wright believes he has enough past work with Bridgewater that the missed practice time of late won’t be an issue in the future.
“I feel like I’ve been practicing with Teddy ever since I got here. I don’t think that’s one thing we struggle with. And then all the reps we’ve had in the offseason and then leading up to this point,” he said. “I think we’ve definitely got a lot of reps with Teddy and we’re in sync whether he practices or not.”