Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson may not be in the doghouse, but he isn’t in the starting lineup Sunday, either. Instead, the Vikings have opted to go with the hot hands of Charles Johnson against the Jets.
“C.J. is playing at a high level,” offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Thursday. “C.J. is the starter at X. That’s the position Cordarrelle plays. We’re going to do what we can to give him some opportunities to play there, but C.J.’s playing at a real high level right now.”
After injuries to Greg Jennings (ribs) and Jarius Wright (hamstring), Johnson was used as the team’s slot receiver, running just 14 routes for 41 yards on two catches. Now he moves back to his more natural position — split end — where he could shine in the Viking’s offense.
According to the game charters at Pro Football Focus, Johnson is the highest-rated wide receiver in the Viking’ passing game, despite a limited role.
Johnson also leads the team in yards per route run and appears to be a significant upgrade to Patterson, who produced just 350 yards on 344 snaps in route. That average placed Patterson 83rd among the 91 receivers targeted at least 25 percent of the time.
“The misconception that he’s in somebody’s doghouse, that’s totally false,” Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart said. “I wouldn’t put the term ‘bust’ on Cordarrelle. He’s going to play good football for us. He’s a first-round pick for a reason, and he’s going to be very successful for us going forward.”