Safety Fox's Season Ends

Vikings third-round draft pick Dustin Fox was hoping for a quick recovery and a chance to impress the coaches. That won't happen.

Third-round draft pick Dustin Fox was keeping a close eye on the roster developments over this week as the Vikings pare their roster to 65 players by Tuesday and 53 players next week.

Fox fractured his arm in training camp and had fractured it last season at Ohio State. He had a plate inserted into the arm last year, which was part of the problem this time around.

"I just hit it on somebody's leg and slightly fractured one of the screw holes," Fox said.

Monday, he was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

He was just hoping to be ready for action in about a month and wear a brace during practices later this fall.

"Last year I actually came back a little quicker. In the middle of the Big Ten football season you're actually trying to get back as soon as possible because you don't have as many games," he said.

This year, he'll have no games with the Vikings.

Fox was behind in the development curve to start with. He missed the majority of developmental camps because Ohio State was still in session when the Vikings were practicing this spring. Per NFL rules, he was not allowed to attend most of the Vikings' practices in May and June until OSU completed its spring session. Instead, he graduated with a degree in communications.

"When I got here, I got to spend a lot of extra time with Coach (Chuck) Knox and review all the defenses and things that I missed. Obviously I didn't get the reps that I needed. Now missing training camp too is kind of a bummer," Fox said with a sigh minutes before finding out about being placed on injured reserve.

Fox played both cornerback and safety for the Buckeyes, but he is now viewed primarily as a safety for future discussions with the Vikings.

"They drafted me and said I was going to play corner initially, then I came here and it was all safety. That's fine. I'm down for whatever the team needs," Fox said. "Playing safety now, I understand what the corners are doing."

Now he'll have more time to learn the nuances between the Vikings' system and the Buckeyes' defense as he prepares for next season while getting mental reps with the Vikings this fall.

"It's just different when you're coming from another system and trying to learn another system. It's a process. … They're always putting new stuff in, and I'm trying to learn the old stuff and the new stuff. Now we're game-planning, so it's a little different," he said.

"It seems like all the defenses, even in college into the pros, schematically it's pretty similar. It's just different names. I'll be in my notebook and (the coaches) might say something and I'll be putting in parentheses what we used to call it so I can remember."

After his disappointing news Monday, he'll have time to learn as he takes time to heal.

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