EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson only got five offensive snaps in his first NFL game on Sunday, but offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said on Wednesday that had more to do with how little the Vikings were on the field than it did with the team's plan going into the game.
The Vikings ran just 39 offensive plays before the Lions' final touchdown, which put Detroit up 10 points with just under seven minutes to play. That forced the Vikings to scrap significant sections of their game plan, including things they had planned for Patterson, Musgrave said.
"Most definitely," Musgrave said. "Not only for Cordarrelle, but for Greg Jennings, for Kyle (Rudolph), for everybody. It's tough to do it from the sideline."
That echoes what coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday about not sustaining enough drives to use Patterson, and it will be interesting if the Vikings try to work the rookie into the game earlier on Sunday against Chicago. Musgrave said the Vikings wouldn't necessarily have to use Patterson in a three- or four-receiver set, adding there were things in the game plan for him in one- or two-receiver formations. But between his scant workload on offense and the five Detroit kickoffs that went for touchbacks, Patterson didn't get much of a chance to put his stamp on his first game.
Patterson represents one of the Vikings' best chances to add a game-breaking player to their offense, especially if teams continue to load up their defensive fronts the way the Lions did against Adrian Peterson. The Vikings have continued to say the rookie is up to speed on their entire game plan, so it's simply a matter of Musgrave calling for packages that might showcase Patterson. If the Vikings get behind the Bears early on Sunday -- as they've done the last two years in Chicago -- perhaps they'll look to the rookie for a spark.