Vikings call film-room audible with Hoyer

The Vikings were preparing to face Jason Campbell when the Browns announced on Wednesday that Brian Hoyer will start Sunday in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings spent Monday and Tuesday preparing for Cleveland Browns QB Jason Campbell after a thumb injury knocked starter Brandon Weeden out of Sunday's game.

However, the Browns sent the Vikings scrambling Wednesday with their announcement that the Brian Hoyer will be the starter Sunday at Mall of America Field.

Hoyer, in his fifth season in the NFL, has started only one game in his NFL career – last year as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, when he completed 19 of 34 passes for 225 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

That's the game Vikings coach Leslie Frazier watched Wednesday morning when he found out that Hoyer would be the Browns starter.

"Myself and our coaches will all learn more about him as we look back at the preseason as well. Just got a glimpse of him this morning," Frazier said.

"You just try to get as much data as you can on the guy that's going to start, and start doing your preparation from there. We have pro scouts, advance scouts, look at guys in the preseason and write up reports on them. We'll look at those reports, see what his strengths and weaknesses are and try to put a plan around it."

While Hoyer hasn't had much of a chance to impress the rest of the NFL, Browns running back Trent Richardson is convinced the Michigan State product will be a pleasant surprise for Cleveland fans and a bitter surprise for opponents.

"I'm glad people have been sleeping on Hoyer so when he comes out to surprise people it will be a bigger shock to the world," Richardson said on a conference call with Vikings reporters just hours before he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

"He's got a big arm. He's got a real bit arm. He makes smart decisions and he's very precise on what he (does). When he calls audible or has to kill the play, he's making smart calls. Hoyer is a smart dude."

The Browns announced the move on Wednesday, which Frazier said is much better than finding out on Sunday at noon – "I guarantee you that," he said.

Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said he made the move to Hoyer instead of Campbell based on Hoyer's performance in the fourth preseason game.

"He's a smart guy and efficient guy and finds a way to make plays," Chudzinski said.

HELMET-GATE FOR JENNINGS

WR Greg Jennings didn't deny writing "PACKERS SUCK" on a Vikings helmet that he signed. An Internet story gained traction Wednesday when a fan posted on Instagram a photo of the helmet signed by Jennings with his additional message.

"I'm not even going to jump into that. I'll let that story be what it is. If you guys want to hype it. That doesn't have anything to do with football, does it?" Jennings told reporters after Wednesday's practice.

"I'm not even going to address that. Are we talking football? Are we talking football or are we talking something else?"

NOTES

  • TE Rhett Ellison (knee) didn't practice Wednesday. Frazier said Ellison might practice Thursday and it shouldn't be a lingering issue.

  • DT Fred Evans (shoulder), Erin Henderson (heel), Harrison Smith (shoulder), C John Sullivan (knee) and DT Kevin Williams (knee) were limited in Wednesday's practice. RT Phil Loadholt (knee) and S Mistral Raymond (shoulder) were full participants.

  • For the Browns, QB Brandon Weeden (thumb) and LB Quentin Groves (ankle) are out. OL Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf) were limited. DB T.J. Ward (shoulder) and DL Desmond Bryant (wrist) were full participants.

  • LB Desmond Bishop played only two snaps Sunday against the Chicago Bears after not playing at all on defense in the season opener at Detroit. Starting weakside linebacker Marvin Mitchell played 25 snaps against the Bears, but Frazier said he would like to get Bishop more involved.

    "We wanted to make sure he got some game snaps and we wanted to get him a series. It just turned out they ended up going to three-wide sets so we cut it short as far as our base defense," Frazier said of Bishop. "But this week we want to get him a few more snaps, some more time on the field and see what he does with that. He seems to be much more comfortable in our defense now than a few weeks ago. We're going to continue to give him reps in practice so he can continue to get that comfort level he needs to play fast."


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.
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