Cornerback Melvin White
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Roster cuts are just around the corner for the Minnesota Vikings, but that didn’t stop the team from thinning out the depth chart a little early. The Vikings waived cornerback Melvin White this morning, bringing the roster to 89 players.

The team must cut the roster to 75 by 4 pm EST on Tuesday, August 30 and 53 by September 3. White signed a futures/reserve contract with the Vikings in January, but couldn’t stay healthy and missed both preseason games. According to Chris Tomasson, he was hurt in an August 8 practice and only returned to practice last week.

White’s departure comes at a time when cornerback depth is a bit thin for the Vikings. With Xavier Rhodes nursing a hamstring injury, Trae Waynes is taking reps at right cornerback. And at practice yesterday, Mackensie Alexander filled in for Terence Newman on the opposite side of the field.

Normally, depth at cornerback wouldn’t be an issue for the Vikings. Rhodes, Newman, Waynes, and Munnerlyn are all starter-level players, but injuries have a way of ruining plans. For now, it’s Waynes and Newman or Alexander on the outside, with Munnerlyn manning the slot.

When signed, White was one of the more intriguing free agent pickups. At 6’1″ and 215 pounds, he has the size that head coach Mike Zimmer looks for in boundary cornerbacks. Add to that his past experience with Munnerlyn — the two played together from 2013-2014 — and White appeared a logical fit in Minnesota.

But as they do, injuries derailed his chances to play. If a player can’t get on the field, he can’t prove why he’s worth one of so few available roster spots. And at a position like cornerback, where the Vikings already have so much talent, White’s odds of sticking with the team were slim from the start. Expect more transactions as the league nears the Tuesday deadline.