Introducing the Vikings 2021 Practice Squad

Sean Mannion
Aug 14, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Sean Mannion (9) looks on during the second quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings host 16 players on the 2021 practice squad. Consider this a one-stop shop for identifying those players.

Of note: This edition of the practice squad is much older than years past. Before now, players like Ameer Abdullah and Dakota Dozier, who are seasoned veterans, filling such roles was a rarity. But not anymore.

This is the 2021 Vikings practice squad, in pictures:

Ameer Abdullah (RB)

Ameer Abdullah

Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Ameer Abdullah (31) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Abdullah was supposed to be a safe bet to make the team at RB4 or so. No such luck. He entered the league in the same year as Danielle Hunter, playing 74 games in the last six seasons. At age 28, he’ll be the Vikings emergency-emergency halfback.

Zack Bailey (OG)

Zack Bailey

Dec 1, 2018; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel (1) and offensive lineman Zack Bailey (78) celebrate a touchdown against the Akron Zips in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive line is the Vikings biggest soft spot on the 2021 depth chart — surprise, surprise — and Bailey is waiting in the wings if injuries occur. He’s a guard by trade and now is the backup to Oli Udoh, Ezra Cleveland, and Wyatt Davis.

Jake Bargas (FB)

Jake Bargas

Jun 9, 2021; Minnesota Vikings fullback Jake Bargas (34) catches a pass in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings love their fullbacks at a time when many NFL teams are saying sayonara to the position. Bargas saw a little bit of action in 2020 when Minnesota was crushed by New Orleans on Christmas day.

Tuf Borland (LB)

Tuf Borland

Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tuf Borland was among 14 former Ohio State players to receive invitations to the NFL scouting combine. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

This is the gent who got into all the training camp fights. He’s a tough cookie from Ohio State. And he’ll start his NFL career on the practice squad behind players like Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, and Nick Vigil from the 53-man roster.

Zach Davidson (TE)

Zach Davidson

Jun 15, 2021; in Eagen, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Zach Davidson (40) during drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted in the 5th Round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Davidson is the VikingsĀ power forward. He’s 6’7″ and notably could not haul in an airmailed pass from quarterback Kellen Mond against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason.

Myles Dorn (S)

Myles Dorn

Jul 18, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolinas safety Myles Dorn addresses the media at the 2019 ACC Football Kickoff held at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Mike Zimmer loves defensive backs, so Dorn gets practice squad duty in 2021. Four other safeties made the active roster: Harrison Smith, Xavier Woods, Camryn Bynum, and Josh Metellus.

Dakota Dozier (G)

Dakota Dozier

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Dakota Dozier (78) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Dozier played 100% of Vikings offensive snaps in 2020. In 2021, there’s a reasonable chance he plays 0% of such snaps. Dozier encountered a rough pandemic season, grading out near the bottom of the league for guard play.

Kyle Hinton (OT)

Kyle Hinton

Image Courtesy of DailyNorseman.com

Just like Zack Bailey, Hinton is emergency offensive line depth. He was drafted in the 7th Round of the 2020 NFL Draft from Washburn.

Trishton Jackson (WR)

Trishton Jackson

Aug 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Bryce Perkins (16) makes a pass to wide receiver Trishton Jackson (not pictured) for a touchdown under pressure from Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyler Fackrell (52) in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

New man on the Minnesota Vikings — shown throwing the ball above, he’s a wide receiver previously employed by the Los Angeles Rams. At Michigan State and Syracuse, Jackson scored 13 touchdowns in his college career.

Sean Mannion (QB)

Sean Mannion

Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (4) throws during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Mannion isn’t ultra-exciting, but he’s the anti-Browning. He briefly spent time with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason, returning to Minnesota for reservist duty — this time on the practice squad. Mannion will presumably act as the QB3 instead of the QB2 in 2021.

Myron Mitchell (WR)

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marlon Character (39) breaks up a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Myron Mitchell (87) during the first quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This Alabama native will support Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Dede Westbrook from the practice squad. For intense fans of the team, he can be classified as anĀ Alexander Hollins type.

Parry Nickerson (CB)

Parry Nickerson

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Parry Nickerson (39) celebrates with team mates after scoring against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the man that scored the pick-six versus the Chiefs in the final preseason game. That feat evidently earned him an extended stay with the Vikings.

Whop Philyor (WR)

Whop Philyor

Aug 14, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Denver Broncos safety Caden Sterns (30) breaks up a pass to Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Whop Philyor (16) in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The guy with the cool name and training camp fan-favorite didn’t make the 53-man roster, but he wasn’t jettisoned from your lives altogether. The Indiana alumnus joins Myron Mitchell and Trishton Jackson as the team’s three practice-squad WRs for 2021.

A.J. Rose (RB)

AJ Rose

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back AJ Rose (36) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders (99) during the second quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rose achieved Kyle Sloter-like status for preseason annals of Vikings history. Why? Because he was the only Viking to score an offensive touchdown in the 2021 preseason. If something happens to Dalvin Cook or Alexander Mattison, Rose will see regular season time.

Tye Smith (CB)

Tye Smith

Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Tye Smith (5) tackles Indianapolis Colts running back Deon Jackson (35) in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Little known fact: Smith has played 40 professional games in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennesse Titans. Along with Abdullah and Dozier, he’s one of the more experienced players on the Vikings practice squad.

Kenny Willekes (DE)

Feb 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Michigan State defensive lineman Kenny Willekes (DL43) speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Willekes was a member of the 2020 Vikings — but then Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, and Stephen Weatherly all rumbled back to the active roster, designating the second-year defensive end for practice squad assignment.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday along with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).