(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Cordarrelle Patterson came to the Minnesota Vikings as a raw rookie and there were no expectations that he'd quickly become an every-down wide receiver.
With only one season of major college experience at Tennessee, Patterson's mastery of the finer points of his position was going to take time. Still, his limited use by an offense that has struggled through several games has raised plenty of questions for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
Finally, with Patterson coming off his first career touchdown catch, the first-round draft pick could be on the verge of a more significant role. Frazier has not yet spelled out the plan publicly, but he has hinted this week that Patterson could start Sunday at Seattle ahead of Jerome Simpson, who was charged with drunken driving.
''They drafted me to play, not ride the bench every snap,'' Patterson said. ''If I start, I start. If I don't, I don't. I'm behind a great guy in Jerome Simpson. Me and him compete with each other just to get better.''
Patterson's impact has been felt on special teams, with two kickoff returns for scores. His use at wideout has been limited, though. Simpson has been productive, leading the team with 491 yards receiving. Patterson is in the learning phase, too.
''He now knows more than just one position,'' Musgrave said of Patterson. ''We're mixing and matching him and trying to get him in good spots as well as featuring our other guys, too.
''We know Cordarrelle doesn't have a lot of football history. Played at Tennessee, had a great year, but wasn't even able to go through spring ball or even their training camp, so he's done a fantastic job of catching up to speed in terms of overall football knowledge.''
Patterson was the third wide receiver taken in the draft this year, behind Tavon Austin of St. Louis and DeAndre Hopkins of Houston. But Patterson ranks 14th among rookies at his position in playing time, according to STATS. Patterson has taken only 26.4 percent of the snaps (146 of 552) for Minnesota. Hopkins is first at 89.3 percent, and Robert Woods of Buffalo, Keenan Allen of San Diego, Terrance Williams of Dallas, Kenbrell Thompkins of New England, Marlon Brown of Baltimore and Kenny Stills of New Orleans are all at 60 percent or more.
''My route running has improved a lot. I'm not worried about the plays. That's coming along. It's great. I've got great guys. Quarterbacks, they help me out every day. I can't worry about that. Whatever happens on the field happens on the field. We all make mistakes that you've just got to learn from,'' Patterson said.
This would be a fitting week for Patterson to play a larger role in the offense, against Percy Harvin and the Seahawks. Harvin is on track to make his season debut after recovering from a hip injury, and Patterson is essentially the player the Vikings picked to replace Harvin after they traded him, even though they have different skill sets.
''I'm me. I can't be nobody else. Why would I want to be Percy Harvin? I'm trying to set my own standards, you know?'' Patterson said. ''So I come in each day just trying to get better, just being what CP can be, not what Percy Harvin can do.''
Throwing Patterson the ball might be the best way for the Vikings to take advantage of their sleek, speedy rookie. Opponents have begun to avoid from him since he returned his second kickoff for a score Oct. 27 to open the game against the Green Bay Packers. Patterson said he's not frustrated by that, though.
''Nah, it makes me feel good. It makes me feel like they're scared of me or they respect me back there,'' he said. ''That's giving our offense more opportunity to get good field position.''
NOTES: WR Greg Jennings was added to the injury report Thursday with an Achilles problem. He was a limited participant in practice. ... QB Christian Ponder continued to improve, but Frazier said he wasn't ready to declare Ponder fit to play. Ponder dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder a week ago. ... DE Jared Allen was full of one-liners during his weekly media availability. One highlight, on Seattle's noisy stadium: ''It makes it fun. No offense to Jacksonville or any team like that, but you go down there and the crowd is empty, and the fans feel like they're 100 yards away. You go to Seattle, and it's loud.''
---
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Recent NFL Discussions

2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash
EARLY COLL PLAYS FOR WED. on Wed, Mar 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail DeSean Jackson Bucs Prop Odds How many touchdowns will DeSean Jackson post with his new team in 2017? Here's a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Brandin Cooks Patriots Prop Odds How many total receiving yards will new Patriot Brandin Cooks have in 2017?
Thumbnail Alshon Jeffery TD Prop Odds How many touchdown passes and receiving yards will Alshon Jeffery rack up in 2017? Oddsmakers have released projections for the newest Eagle.
Thumbnail Brandon Marshall 2017 Prop Odds How many touchdowns and receiving yards will new Giant Brandon Marshall compile in 2017? Here's a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Pats land Cooks, remain SB favorites The Patriots remain favored to win Super Bowl LII following their blockbuster trade with the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks.

NFL Team Pages