The focus for the day will likely revolve around the stunning news that Rick Spielman has traded Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens. Nevertheless, the show must go on. We return to our usual Thursday focus: our Unsung Hero article (for what it’s worth, Ngakoue did snag one). This week’s Unsung Hero is Minnesota Vikings FB C.J. Ham.
Minnesota Vikings FB C.J. Ham
Admittedly, choosing Ham as the Unsung Hero is an odd choice. The Vikings were down big to Atlanta for most of the game, so Ham didn’t get his usual amount of snaps. In fact, Ham had the least amount of snaps on offense all season. Nevertheless, we’re going to highlight Ham’s importance to the Vikings.
A large part of Ham’s impact comes in special teams. He is on kickoff, kick return, punt, and punt return. He’s a hustle player in every phase of special teams. On Ameer Abdullah‘s nice return immediately following the Julio Jones TD in the 1Q, Ham had a nice block to help Abdullah get beyond the 25.
On offense, Ham made some nice plays in limited snaps. Alexander Mattison‘s best run of the game was the direct result of Ham securing two blocks. Part of the issue, though, was that on the few instances when he was called upon to block for Mattison, Ham often had to deal with multiple Atlanta defenders. This was a rough game for the offensive line. Ezra Cleveland certainly had some rough snaps, and Brian O’Neill didn’t have a good game. Nevertheless, Ham did have a few nice reps.
Ham also displayed his versatility. We’ve already mentioned the special teams play and the run blocking, but he was also involved in a pass route and also helped in pass protection.
Similar to the tight ends, a fullback is part of the glue that hold a Gary Kubiak offense together. Moving forward, the Minnesota Vikings will be relying on C.J. Ham to be a key contributor on offense. His versatility and toughness will be key to Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and the rest of the offense getting back on track.