EAGAN — After months of debating who the No. 3 receiver behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs would be in 2019, the question was not answered until after cutdown day.
Now as the Minnesota Vikings approach a Week 1 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, their No. 3 Josh Doctson is trying to play catch-up on the offense he just joined following his release by Washington. The Vikings’ new receiver said Wednesday that he was interested in coming to Minnesota in part because of his previous relationship with quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“Seeing what was going to be a best fit for myself, when Minnesota called it was a no-brainer to come rejoin Kirk,” Doctson said.
“I had a few [options] the first couple days but it probably wasn’t the best fit for me, it just didn’t feel right, I felt like there was something else out there and this came up, that’s why I was waiting,” Doctson added.
Cousins and Doctson connected for 35 passes on 72 targets for 502 yards and six touchdowns. The former first-round receiver said he can quickly find the chemistry he and Cousins had in the past.
“I would like to think so, for sure,” Doctson said. “We had two years there. My first year as a rookie you’re trying to learn stuff so a bit of a learning curve with him and I think that’s huge and hopefully we can build off what we had in Washington.”
“It’s a good feeling to see somebody familiar back there under center,” Doctson said. “You can’t really buy chemistry so being able to know that we had a couple years there where we were building chemistry, hopefully that’s still there, I assume so and we’ll just keep working.”
Cousins said that he endorsed the Doctson signing to offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and added that getting the new receiver up to speed quickly will be helped along by their previous experience together.
“If nothing else the two years that I worked with him are very valuable,” Cousins said. “It’s hard to bring someone in who I have no reps with and expect them to be able on two or three days of practice to be able to step in. When you have a longer relationship, I think that makes a big difference. I think he does have some special skill sets that we can use to our advantage.”
While Doctson did not live up to expectations in Washington, Cousins noted that he wished he had given more opportunities for the ex-TCU standout to make plays in D.C.
“I remember that was one of his elite traits, his vertical jump, his ability to catch the ball at a high point in the air,” Cousins said. “I regret not giving him more opportunities to do that, especially in the red zone. I look forward to hopefully getting a second chance now. But he was a fully developed receiver too, I don’t feel like he was a one-trick pony…If it was just one thing he could do, I don’t know if I would have been as excited but I think the fact that he can be a full receiver at the Z or the X position for us is a great asset.”