Vikings sign former Gophers DB Brock Vereen to practice squad

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Brock Vereen is returning to Minnesota to play football, this time for the Vikings.

The former University of Minnesota standout was signed by the Vikings on Thursday to the team’s practice squad. A spot was left vacant when linebacker Brian Peters was signed off the practice squad to the Houston Texans’ active roster.

Vereen, 23, was a fourth-round draft pick by Chicago just last year.

The versatile defensive back started four games at safety in his rookie season and had 30 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. He had played in three games this season for the Bears.

Earlier in the week, Chicago also made sweeping changes that included trading former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers. The Bears had made a regime change with new general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox taking over in the offseason.

Vereen was waived by the Bears on Tuesday.

In four years with the Gophers, Vereen started 36 of 47 games and was named an All-Big Ten selection following his senior year.

Vereen, perhaps, could find a role in Minnesota with the Vikings still trying to solve the other safety spot next to Harrison Smith. Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo continue to rotate at the position. Antone Exum is on the active roster, as well.