Minnesota Vikings fans may have forgotten about wide receiver Charles Johnson in 2015. After suffering a rib injury early in the season, he was phased out of the receiver rotation and became a complete non-factor.
Although he did not catch a single pass after Week 9, Johnson was still brimming with confidence when a fan asked him what he needed to improve most in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Tuesday.
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good question. id say i guess i have to be more durable and not get hurt so early in the season that kind of hurt me i guess lol. other than that I'm still the same guy with the same talents just had another hiccup in my path this year. i still believe that I'm the best WR and able to make the plays. i say that not to down others but bc i have confidence in myself and I'm willing to put in the work to continue my grind. I'm sure every WR on our team would say the same thing on their end! thats what i expect
Johnson spent time on practice squads with the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns before breaking through with the Vikings. He caught 31 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns in 2014, making him one of Minnesota's most promising playmakers heading into the 2015 season.
A lot changed during the 2015 offseason, though. First the NFL reinstated All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, then the Vikings bolstered the wide receiver position by trading for Mike Wallace and drafting Stefon Diggs. As a result, Johnson became a marginal contributor and finished the season with just nine catches for 127 yards.
Four different wide receivers -- Diggs (720), Wallace (473), Jarius Wright (442) and Adam Thielen (144) -- had more yards than Johnson did in 2015. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (495) and running backs Adrian Peterson (222), Jerick McKinnon (173) and Matt Asiata (132) did too.
Johnson, a former seventh-round draft pick out of Grand Valley State, has one more year on his current contract to back up his claim that he's "the best wide receiver."