Kearse will compete for playing time at safety and nickel cornerback when Organized Team Activities begin Tuesday and won't be switching to weakside linebacker, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "Last year, I played the nickel, but that was all off of instincts," Kearse said. "Now, I had time to work at it knowing I'll be in that role and playing that position." A report earlier in April said he could move to linebacker, but it looks like Kearse will return to the role he had last season. Kearse could win significant snaps at slot corner with a strong training camp.
Kearse may move from safety to weakside linebacker, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The Vikings will try to make the transition this spring. Kearse was mostly used on special teams last season but showed promise at times at safety. He also got time at nickelback last season, so the Vikings may utilize him in a versatile role.
Kearse had five total tackles, a sack and two tackles for a loss in Sunday's win at the Jets. He played 29 snaps on defense. logging some extra snaps with Xavier Rhodes going down with an in-game ankle injury and Mike Hughes out for the season with a knee injury.
Kearse played 22 snaps on defense Sunday and got time at nickelback with Mackensie Alexander (ankle) and Trae Waynes (knee) sidelined. Kearse is a safety, but his flexibility to play some cornerback in a pinch is a beneficial asset to Minnesota's defense. He'll likely return to a reserve role this week, as the Vikings will likely make another cornerback active for the game.
Kearse missed Saturday's preseason game against the Jaguars due to general "nicks and bruises," Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Kearse, who has spent much of the past two seasons on special teams for the Vikings, is competing for a roster spot at strong safety behind starter Andrew Sendejo (calf). Kearse's absence from Saturday's tilt due to seemingly minor issues could allow for Tray Matthews, Anthony Harris and Jack Tocho to increase their workloads.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||@Green Bay Packers||2|
|5||10/06||@New York Giants||28|
|9||11/03||@Kansas City Chiefs||4|
|15||12/16||@Los Angeles Chargers||23|
|16||12/24||Green Bay Packers||2|