Sunday, April 19, 2015
Blog Page 169

Yesterday I referenced a report that the Vikings had roster exemptions for Jerome Felton (suspended) and Christian Ballard (left team) which allowed them to only cut 13 players.  I also wondered why the didn’t get an exemption for the suspension of DeMarcus Love.

Viking Update was kind enough to respond to a message I sent them requesting a clarification of their report, and they turned around and got the answer directly from the NFL, according to their response.

As of right now, and Monday when the Vikings made their cuts, the Vikings have two roster exemptions.  One is for Ballard and the other is for wide out Greg Childs who has been placed on the PUP list and won’t be eligible for action until week seven.

The Vikings will indeed get two exemptions for the Felton and Love suspensions, but the suspensions will not go into effect until Saturday, thus there are no exemptions until Saturday.

Essentially, this means that the Vikings get to keep four bubble players around until/unless these guys are able to report for duty.  At the time of their return the Vikings will have to choose between having them back and cutting someone else, or simply letting them go.  In Felton’s case the answer is simple, as he will be brought back, but the other three each present unique situations and the Vikings could simply choose to release them in favor of guys already on the roster.

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Kevin Williams took a cheap, low block from Niners guard Joe Looney on Sunday evening and things looked really bad for him as he laid on the turf.  Then they looked a lot better as he left the field under his own power and reportedly told teammates he was fine.

On Monday, after an MRI, the news was somewhere in the middle.

Williams hyperextended and bruised his right knee during the game, or more accurately Joe Looney hyperextended his knee on a cheap shot, and his availability for the season opener is now in question.  The good news, however, is that the injury will not require surgery and Williams should not be out of action for long.

Still, following a minor knee surgery to Sharrif Floyd and Christian Ballard’s bizarre departure from the team, the team cannot afford to take many more hits to the middle of their defensive line.  This will certainly be a situation to monitor as the season opener in Detroit draws nearer.

By the way, the injury occurred on what was really a B.S. cheap shot from Niners guard Joe Looney.

According to John Holler of Viking Update, the Vikings have two roster exemptions that allowed them to only cut 13 players today, which gets them down to their 75 player limit by tomorrow’s deadline.  Holler says the exemptions came as a result of Jerome Felton’s suspension and Christian Ballard being placed on the “left team” list.  I’m confused as to why the Vikings don’t have an exemption for DeMarcus Love’s suspension, but that stuff will clear itself up soon.

So, the Vikings made 13 cuts today, and I have to admit I was surprised by a few of them.  Here is a look at the cuts along with some quick analysis.

QB James Vandenberg:  The undrafted rookie was clearly a step or five behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson and so there was little reason to have the undrafted Vandenberg take any snaps in the preseason finale.

RB Bradley Randle and RB Jerodis Williams:  This one stings.  I was really hoping the Vikings would finally have a firecracker scat back at their disposal, and was impressed with Randle’s special teams abilities.  I hope they can sneak him through to the practice squad.  Williams failed to really show up or climb the depth chart in any way.

WR Lamark Brown and WR Erik Highsmith and WR Chris Summers:  I have to think the Vikings are planning on keeping six wide outs this year.  Just a hunch.  Based on these two cuts I think the competition is truly between Joe Webb, Stephen Burton, and Rodney Smith.  Adam Thielen has survived the first round of cuts, however, and could be a dark horse to keep an eye on after an impressive training camp.

G Tyler Holmes and C Camden Wentz:  I’m not 100% sure that any of our offensive line deserves to make this team after three weeks of preseason, and these two were no exceptions.  Failed to shine in a sea of mediocrity (at best), so nothing is surprising here.

DE Lawrence Jackson and DE Marquis Jackson:  Lawrence Jackson is the surprise here, at least to me, as I thought he was a quality low-risk signing this offseason.  To see him cut in the first round is pretty shocking actually, but is again a vote of confidence in D’Aundre Reed who seems to be a coaches favorite that never dresses on game day.

LB Stanford Keglar:  I thought he was already cut a few weeks back.  Shows what I know… and why he’s being cut.

DB Roderick Williams and DB Greg McCoy:  Williams had a little bit of support from some of the fanbase, but there was no way he was making this roster, even if the first five corners on the depth chart got injured.  He and McCoy could both be interesting practice squad possibilities, though.

 

 

Remember how Jerome Felton’s DUI charges from last offseason just seemed to disappear?

Well, they’re back.

Felton eventually pleaded guilty to careless driving, a reduced charge, but that was his second offense which lands him in hotter water with the NFL.  Today, it was announced that Felton will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season.

Felton’s recent surgery meant he was sitting for the remainder of the preseason already, so now we know we won’t get Adrian Peterson’s lead blocker back until week four. 

The good news for Felton is that he already cashed in on last year’s Pro Bowl season by signing a three-year deal this offseason which will pay him $2.5 million in guarantees this year.  The good news for the Vikings is that this suspension is not the result of a new incident involving Felton.

If Felton’s suspension (and DeMarcus Love’s for that matter), come with roster exemptions then the Vikings will be able to store some “bubble” players on the active roster for an extended look until their veterans return.  In Love’s case, he may not return at all.

While it is unclear if Rhett Ellison will take over as the starting fullback, it certainly doesn’t hurt Zach Line’s chances of being on the opening day roster.  Line has two receiving touchdowns this preseason and has impressed overall.

For an offense that desperately needs a kick start, however, the news that Peterson’s trusted lead will miss three games is not welcomed.

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There are a ton of interesting storylines and position battles that hang in the balance of tonight’s preseason game.  Oh, and the Vikings are playing football.  That is why we are hosting a live chat tonight for discussion with fellow Vikings fans throughout all of the action.

You can CLICK HERE to join in on the conversation.

We’ll plan on getting started just before kickoff, but the new chat room is open 24/7 so feel free to join in whenever you like.

I’ll bring the lutefisk!

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