New WR Aldrick Robinson fitting in with Vikings
EAGAN, Minn. — It was like old times for Aldrick Robinson.
When Robinson was playing for Washington in 2012, Kirk Cousins threw him a 49-yard touchdown pass in a preseason game at Chicago. It was his first TD in any NFL game.
In 2014, the two connected again in the preseason for a 10-yard TD against New England.
They never had hooked up for a regular-season touchdown until Sept. 27, when they got two in a 38-31 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. It was Robinson's second game with the Vikings since the wide receiver signed Sept. 17.
"That connection is back,'' Robinson said Friday, Oct. 5.
Cousins and Robinson were Redskins teammates from 2012-14, when Cousins was the backup quarterback. All five of Robinson's regular-season touchdowns then were thrown by Robert Griffin III.
Cousins played a role in getting Minnesota to sign Robinson. After he caught one pass for 9 yards Sept. 23 against Buffalo in his Vikings debut, Robinson had two catches for 33 yards against the Rams. One was a 16-yard TD reception in the first quarter and the other a 17-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.
"It always feels good to get in the end zone as a receiver," Robinson said.
While Robinson was clearly the intended target on the first score, he believed the pass on the second was intended for tight end Kyle Rudolph. The two were close to each other in the end zone.
"He took his corner a little high based off his adjustment on what he saw out there, and I think Kirk was actually throwing to him,'' Robinson said. "I waited actually to see if he was going to catch it, and once I saw him fall, I just took it into my own hands.''
Robinson is hopeful his showing against the Rams will lead to more targets. The Vikings play Sunday at Philadelphia.
"I've got the playmaking ability, and I just got to learn the offense,'' Robinson said. "But I've been learning the offense a lot better now, so they can use me in a lot more ways.''
Facing Wentz again
The Vikings will face Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz for the second time.
Two years ago, when Minnesota came in 5-0, Wentz completed 16 of 28 passes for 138 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 21-10 Eagles win at Lincoln Financial Field. Wentz was then a rookie from North Dakota State.
Wentz was having an MVP-type season in 2017 before suffering a torn ACL in the 13th game. Nick Foles took over as the starter for the final six regular-season and playoff games, including a 38-7 win over Minnesota in the NFC championship game at Philadelphia and a 41-32 defeat of New England in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Foles started the first two games this season before Wentz was healthy enough to take over in Week 3.
"We played him his rookie year, and they kind of kept things pretty basic,'' said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. "Now he's scrambling and running, a big-time arm, throws the ball well, sees the coverages.''
Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson faced Wentz last year while with Seattle. The Seahawks won 24-10 one game before Wentz's injury, but he threw for 348 yards.
"His arm didn't die; he just had a leg injury,'' Richardson said. "Most definitely, he's still the same guy I remember playing against."
Brothers back on roster
The Vikings activated linebacker Kentrell Brothers from the suspended list. To make room on the roster, they released guard Bryan Witzmann.
Brothers was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances and returned to practice this week. The Vikings had a roster exception on him through Monday but opted to bring him back to face the Eagles.
The Vikings signed Witzmann, a St. Paul native, on Sept. 10. He was inactive for all three games he was on the roster.