The deadline for final 53-man cuts has come and gone, with the Minnesota Vikings waiving a handful of talented players. Some, like Jhurell Pressley, landed with other teams, while others may not find a new home before the season.
This morning at 1 pm EST, teams began to assemble their practice squads; a group of 10 players who practice each week but are not eligible for the weekly active roster. The practice squad offers rookies and other players the chance to develop, grow within a system, and compete for a roster spot the following year.
Adam Thielen, a former practice squad star, is now one of Minnesota’s top-three wide receivers. He’s proof that patience and an unrelenting work ethic at the bottom of the depth chart can lead to meaningful opportunities down the road.
For the 10 players added to the Vikings practice squad, that journey is an admirable, if unlikely, possibility.
The Practice Squad
- WR Moritz Böhringer
- RB C.J. Ham
- DT Toby Johnson
- CB Tre Roberson
- QB Joel Stave
- OG Willie Beavers
- TE Kyle Carter
- DE Stephen Weatherly
- OG Isame Faciane
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press continues to break news at an unprecedented pace. He’s the source behind every name on the list and will continue to provide updates throughout the day. We will do our best to keep up with Chris and every beat reporter covering the Vikings.
At 1:21 pm CST, the Vikings officially announced the signing of nine players to the practice squad.
The Vikings originally cut three of their draft picks — Böhringer, Beavers, Weatherly — but avoided losing them to another team through waivers. In the case of Böhringer and Beavers, it was clear that neither was ready for live NFL action. They’ll now have time to grow within the organization and become tradable pieces or meaningful contributors down the road.
Weatherly, meanwhile, fell victim to one of the Vikings’ “good” problems — depth at defensive end. Behind Everson Griffen, Brian Robison, Danielle Hunter, and Justin Trattou, Weatherly was the odd man out. But his length, athleticism, and intelligence are solid building blocks for a head coach in Mike Zimmer that could always use an additional pass rusher in Winter Park.
The same could be said for Toby Johnson, who flashed late in the preseason but had very little chance of making the final 53-man roster. He’s a talented defensive tackle, but he was jostling for time behind Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd, Tom Johnson, and Shamar Stephen.
Other standouts include C.J. Ham, Isame Faciane, and Joel Stave. All three saw significant playing time this preseason and did enough to earn their way back to Minnesota. Ham, of the three, was the most impressive, at times showing the qualities of a professional running back. He beat out Pressley, who was signed to Green Bay’s practice squad earlier this morning. Stave was hardly encouraging this offseason, but gives the Vikings a quarterback with enough talent to offer Minnesota’s first and second-team defenses a realistic practice “look.”
Faciane did see time with the second-team offense this preseason and is notable for making the switch from defensive tackle to guard last offseason. He’s a versatile player who’s shown the kind of work ethic coaches like to see on the bottom of the roster. Tre Roberson also flipped positions, moving from quarterback in college to cornerback with the Vikings. A broken hand derailed what had been an encouraging start to the preseason.