Per Adam Caplan at ESPN, the Vikings will sign former third-string quarterback McLeod John Baltazer Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad. The scouting report on him is well known—big arm, still raw.
Bethel-Thompson has quite a career in terms of where he’s gone and who he’s been with. After going undrafted at Sacramento State in 2011, he played in the Arena Football League for the San Jose SaberCats, then joined the San Francisco 49ers to be on their practice squad. Shortly after that, in the same year, he went on to play for the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League. He ended up starting the last two games for them, the only games they won (it was a five-game schedule). Interestingly, he was coached by Denny Green.
Later that year, he signed on to the Miami Dolphins practice squad.
He was on the Vikings’ roster from 2012 to 2013, beating out Sage Rosenfels for the job. He was cut midway through 2013 for Josh Freeman. After that, the San Francisco 49ers picked him up and kept him on for a month before waiving him to their practice squad. He last throughout the 2014 offseason before getting cut in the first round of cuts.
After that, the New England Patriots signed him to their practice squad for about ten days, where he was cut from it on September 9.
And now he joins the Vikings once more.
It’s unclear who will be cut to make room, though Matt Vensel speculates it means that Chase Ford could get promoted. The easiest situation is if a player goes on Injured Reserve-Designated to Return, so that no one will have to be truly “cut.” If it’s Kyle Rudolph, that would make a lot of sense—promote a tight end up, sign MBT to the practice squad as functional depth at quarterback while Cassel recovers and move on.
The Designated to Return designation means that a player can return to the team but not count against the roster while he’s on the reserve list. He will be out for six weeks, whereupon he can return to practice. After eight weeks, he can be cleared to play. The issue for players is that they remain on the reserve list with a smaller salary, so they’d rather be declared “out” for six games. It’s also less flexible in terms of their recovery time.
To me, what’s most likely is that it’s Brandon Fusco who is actually potentially subject to this designation, given the fact that he will be seeking a second opinion for his injury.
If no one is moved to a reserve list, then expect a player to be cut, either from the practice squad or the roster in order to make room for a promotion (again, likely Chase Ford). If it’s a practice squad player, Josh Kaddu makes sense as he was the most recent signing. If it’s the roster,
I would not be surprised to see receiver Charles Johnson go. While the Vikings can cut Charles Johnson, per the 2011 CBA, as a member of another team’s practice squad, he is entitled to three weeks’ pay as if he was on an active roster and also counts against the 53-man roster whether he’s on it or not. So they can’t cut him to make room. Thanks to Twitter user @aggromagnet and Daniel House at Vikings Corner for pointing that out!