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If he's just returning kicks, should the Vikings trade Patterson?

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It doesn't appear the Vikings have any plans in the works to incorporate Cordarrelle Patterson into the offense more than they have through the first four weeks of the season.

Minnesota, on a bye this week, had an opportunity to give Patterson a heavy workload in a 23-20 loss to the Broncos in Week 4, but the coaching staff elected to give rookie Stefon Diggs and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, native Adam Thielen more playing time in the absence of injured receivers Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright.

Diggs and Thielen combined for 13 catches and more than 150 yards. But General Manager Rick Spielman is still singing the praises of Patterson.

“He’s made so, so, so many strides from where he was a year ago and he’s continuing to make strides,” Spielman said of Patterson on Thursday, via Viking Update.

Spielman added that Patterson is "working as hard as he can" and he "may" be involved with "specific packages."

But ESPN's Ben Goessling notes that Patterson has played just 33 snaps on offense this season, with his job on most of those being a run blocker. He's run only 11 routes all season and has 2 receptions for 10 yards.

The Vikings trading linebacker Gerald Hodges to the 49ers last week fueled speculation about Patterson's future in Minnesota. While there are no hard reports suggesting he's on the trading block,

The Daily Norseman thinks the Raiders, Panthers, Seahawks and Titans would be ideal fits for Patterson, who starred for one year at the University of Tennessee.

A.J. Mansour of Vikings Journal ripped Patterson's trade value, saying there's probably very little the Vikings could get in return for a player averaging less than one catch and 2.5 yards per game. Plus, Mansour says Patterson isn't nearly the dangerous kick return he was when he went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2013.

Keep an eye on Patterson, but as it stands now, he's just No. 84 for the Vikings – a backup receiver/kick returner.

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