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Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor (5) celebrates a catch against the New York Jets during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone would agree Jalen Reagor hasn’t panned out as an NFL wide receiver.

But some may be holding out hope. After all, the 21st overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft is only 23 years old. With plenty of tread left on his tires, Reagor has the rare chance to salvage his career in a new city.

Of course, it’ll take more than a couple snaps to determine what Reagor can do as a Minnesota Viking.

Actually, maybe it won't. …

Reagor received just two offensive snaps Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium vs. the New York Jets. Amazingly, that’s all Reagor needed to make a noticeable impact. The TCU product gained 46 yards on two touches.

Let’s break it down.

With about six minutes left in the first half, Kirk Cousins hit Reagor 38 yards down field, rocketing Minnesota from its 38-yard line all the way inside New York’s 25. The catch was Reagor’s longest since hauling in a 39-yard reception vs. New Orleans in the eighth game of his rookie campaign. OK, OK, OK.

Four plays later, the Vikings scored touchdown No. 2 of the afternoon, extending their lead to 17-3.

Reagor’s first-half success against the Jets resulted in the coaching staff calling his number a second time.

On its second series of the second half, Minnesota opened with a handoff to Reagor, which he took for eight yards around the left end – another positive play that led to an eventual Vikings first down.

The obvious takeaway from Week 13 is that Reagor might be due for more snaps, more opportunities.

Looking strictly at Minnesota’s past three games, you’ll realize Reagor is trending up despite infrequent playing time. He handled a season-high 12 snaps and caught one pass for 14 yards in Week 11 against Dallas – that usage, however, was a reflection of Vikings starters sitting for most of the fourth quarter.

Reagor’s last two times out better represent where he stands in Minnesota’s offensive plans.

Against New England on Thanksgiving – just like versus New York – Reagor was on the field for two snaps. In that contest, Reagor caught his lone target for 25 yards, his then-longest catch with the Vikings.

On the season, Reagor has played just 40 snaps on offense, a tiny, tiny fraction of the group’s total. We suppose Reagor’s 5% snaphare isn’t very surprising because he was traded by Philadelphia less than two weeks before the regular season began. Reagor also is operating as WR4, and really is the team’s sixth option in the passing game, behind a couple stars, tight end T.J. Hockenson and tailback Dalvin Cook.

Ideally, Reagor’s chances increase as we get deeper into December and approach the postseason.

His 4.4 speed and ability to stretch defenses could be Minnesota’s best-kept secret.

Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:

– A nominee for the All-Pro Twerk Team, backup running back Alexander Mattison provided a rushing touchdown Sunday – and more importantly, an all-time celebration that went viral on social media. Mattison had his most productive game – since Week 8 – against the Jets, rushing three times for 14 yards and catching two passes for an additional four yards while playing 17, or 25%, of the O snaps.

– Playing on offense for the fourth game in a row and making his second straight start in place of left tackle Christian Darrisaw, who’s progressing through concussion protocols, Blake Brandel performed well against a talented Jets front. Brandel was on the field for all 68 snaps and had the third-highest offensive grade (78.8) on the Vikings per Pro Football Focus. Was he perfect? No. Brandel was credited with allowing a pair of sacks on 41 pass sets but stood out in the run game, earning an 88.4 run-blocking score from PFF. Overall, Brandel has done a nice job in Darrisaw’s stead. The latter might return Week 14.

– Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson returned to the lineup Sunday after missing four games due to a calf injury and made a strong impact, per usual, while playing 58 of 85 defensive snaps (68%). Tomlinson recorded two tackles and three pressures, including a pair of hits on New York quarterback Mike White.

– Rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans also rejoined Minnesota’s starting defense against the Jets after a two-game absence due to a concussion. Evans compiled six tackles and a pass breakup but was limited to 50 snaps – he was sent off the field by officials after colliding with Harrison Smith in coverage vs. Jets WR Garrett Wilson. Evans was initially cleared by the independent neurologist on Minnesota’s sideline but later reported concussion symptoms and landed back in the protocol. With Evans out, veteran cornerback Duke Shelley stepped up on the outside, logging four tackles and two PBUs via 35 snaps.

– Like Evans, defensive end Jonathan Bullard was forced out of Sunday’s game due to injury. Bullard managed just six snaps, a season low, leaving in the first quarter with a hurt right biceps after a facemask penalty. Bullard reportedly dodged season-ending surgery, but is considering seeking a second opinion.

Offense
PLAYER PLAYS (68) %
O'Neill 68 100%
Brandel 68 100%
Ingram 68 100%
Cleveland 68 100%
Bradbury 68 100%
Cousins 68 100%
Jefferson 65 96%
Hockenson 61 90%
Thielen 59 87%
Cook 51 75%
Osborn 45 66%
Mundt 24 35%
Mattison 17 25%
Ham 14 21%
Reagor 2 3%
Nailor 1 1%
Udoh 1 1%
Defense
PLAYER PLAYS (85) %
Peterson 85 100%
Kendricks 85 100%
Bynum 85 100%
H. Smith 85 100%
Sullivan 74 87%
Hicks 68 80%
Hunter 67 79%
Z. Smith 64 75%
Tomlinson 58 68%
Phillips 53 62%
Evans 50 59%
Wonnum 47 55%
Shelley 35 41%
Tonga 29 34%
Jones 20 24%
Lynch 18 21%
Bullard 6 7%
Asamoah 4 5%
Metellus 2 2%

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