Vikings' Line making himself essential with versatility
MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Line, as usual, has spent this week getting up to speed on three positions. Line primarily is the Minnesota Vikings' fullback, but also has to be ready if needed at tight end and running back. Because of injuries, Line could g...
MINNEAPOLIS - Zach Line, as usual, has spent this week getting up to speed on three positions.
Line primarily is the Minnesota Vikings' fullback, but also has to be ready if needed at tight end and running back.
Because of injuries, Line could get some work as the third tight end in Sunday's game against Houston at U.S. Bank Stadium. While Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt will be available, David Morgan is out because of a knee injury and Rhett Ellison (knee) is listed as doubtful after not practicing all week.
In the past two games, the Vikings have activated only Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata at running back. If recently acquired Ronnie Hillman is inactive for a third straight game Sunday, Line again also would be the No. 3 running back.
"Whatever they need me to do on game day, I'm ready,'' said Line, a four-year veteran.
In last Monday's 24-10 win over the New York Giants, Line ran three times for six yards, both career-highs. He was the featured running back at Southern Methodist and is the second-leading rusher in school history with 4,185 yards.
"When (the Vikings) get a new coach, they have to look it up and don't believe it," he said.
Last year, Line caught six passes for 95 yards, including receptions of 49 and 24 yards. It hasn't taken long for quarterback Sam Bradford, acquired Sept. 3, to notice Line's versatility.
"He's a valuable piece in our offense just because we can move him all over the place," Bradford said. "He can do a little bit of everything. We feel very comfortable handing him the football. We feel very comfortable with him in protection. We can put him out wide. He can do it all."
If the Vikings decide to make a roster move, another option at tight end could be signing Brian Leonhardt off the practice squad. Leonhardt was added to the squad Wednesday, but he had been with Minnesota from March through the third preseason game in August.