As far as timing goes, things couldn't be much worse for Visanthe Shiancoe.
Saturday was supposed to be Shiancoe's "coming out party" with the new offense. If any Vikings veteran has reason to be playing for a purpose this season, it's Shiancoe. When Brett Favre showed up at Winter Park, it was Shiancoe that first tossed out the "Favre-a-palooza" line that became something of a two-year mantra/slogan for life in Vikings Country.
With Donovan McNabb now quarterbacking the Vikings, Shiancoe should have been a fixture of sound bytes for TV, radio and the worldwide interwebosphere. Instead, it has been largely the sound of silence.
When the Vikings drafted Kyle Rudolph in April, one of the first things noted by those that follow the comings and goings of the Vikings was that the team drafted at a position that has three veterans already on the roster – Shiancoe, Jim Kleinsasser and Jeff Dugan. Just as quickly, it was noted that all three are in the final year of the current contracts.
Of the three, Shiancoe is by far the most likely to cash in on the post-CBA cash bonanza. Yet, his ailing hamstring has sidelined that plan.
Shiancoe has been sidelined since before Donovan McNabb was allowed to practice with the Vikings. Say what you want to about quarter-speed walk-troughs, but they don't replicate what can be done in game situations, where a fraction of a second can be the difference between a touchdown for the offense and an interception return for the defense.
Shiancoe has missed significant early time in getting a rapport going with McNabb as he plays for the next big contract of his career. In the process, it has greased the wheels for Rudolph to get more acclimated to the pro game. While Shiancoe didn't need a lot of time to get a groove going with Favre, he wasn't playing in the final year of his contract. He is now and the hope is that he will be able to catch on as quickly with McNabb as he did with Favre. But, as it currently stands, Shiancoe is missing out on what could be a critical time – both short-term and long-term – for his Vikings future.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.