Vikings Activate Rookie and Could Get TE Back

Vikings Activate Rookie and Could Get TE Back
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have been relatively lucky in terms of injuries, playing a significant role in their 12-3 season, including a potential playoff run. Now that the postseason is coming closer, the Vikings will get some reinforcements from their injured reserve list.

Vikings Activate Rookie
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Running back Ty Chandler was placed on IR after the Week 5 matchup with the Bears. He exclusively played on special teams. Three weeks ago, he was eligible to return from IR and was allowed to practice with the team. The Vikings then had a three-week window to activate the running back. Had they not done that, he would remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season, including the postseason. On Wednesday, the Vikings activated their rookie.

He could play as soon as Sunday when the Vikings face their rival, the Packers, at Lambeau Field.

Chandler possesses impressive speed and showcased his running back abilities in the preseason when he ran for 113 yards on just 15 carries. The Vikings drafted him despite already having a crowded running back room — with, of course, the top two guys as Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Behind them, the Vikings have Kene Nwangwu, who doesn’t have a role on offense and only plays as a kick returner.

Vikings Activate Rookie and Could Get TE Back

In an unusual move, the purple team kept four running backs in addition to the fullback, C.J. Ham, on the roster. Chandler could get some snaps at running back if the Vikings want to rest Cook or Mattison to have them healthy when the postseason starts. He will also be a backup plan if one of the two goes down with an injury.

The activation of Chandler was not the only news concerning injured reserve, as tight end Irv Smith Jr. was designated to return. That means he is entering the three-week window to practice until the Vikings have to activate him at the very latest.

Once Again, Irv Smith Is Injured.
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Smith could be back for a potential playoff run. The tight end recorded 22 catches for 168 yards and two scores in the season’s first seven games. In that seventh matchup, Smith hurt his ankle, and it turned out to be a sprained ankle, and he had to miss most of the season.

The Vikings took action and traded for T.J. Hockenson. The former Lions’ tight end is one of the best in the game and helped the Vikings keep their strong record. He recently set the single-game franchise record for most catches of a tight end.

Vikings Win against NYG
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith will likely split time with Johnny Mundt as the team’s second tight end. Mundt is a better blocker, but Smith is a superior athlete and pass catcher. The former Alabama Crimson Tide was expected to have a breakout season in back-to-back years but disappointed in both, mainly because of injuries.

Now that the Vikings have Hockenson while Smith is in a contract year, it is unlikely he will be back next season, but he could certainly play a role in the offense in the playoffs.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt