The Bears Pilfer Vikings Once Again

Return to the Champs
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette makes a catch at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

For the second consecutive day, the Chicago Bears pilfered the Minnesota Vikings, grabbing wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette from waivers, a player on track to return with the Vikings on the practice squad.

The Bears did the same drill with defensive lineman Armon Watts on Wednesday.

Why the Vikings Always Play the Bears at Home to End the Season
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA.

Minnesota traded for wideout Jalen Reagor moments before waiving Smith-Marsette. Both moves were unforeseen by, well, everybody. Faint rumors suggested the Reagor-to-Vikings could come together, but the theory was not widespread. Conversely, Smith-Marsette had just won a roster spot, outlasting fellow WRs Myron Mitchell and Trishton Jackson.

But everything changed for Smith-Marsette when general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah plopped the Iowa alumnus onto waivers. Thirty-one teams were able to evaluate a Smith-Marsette roster spot, and Chicago was the franchise that pounced because — of course it was.

A handful of other Vikings players were swiped via the waiver process this week — Kellen Mond (Browns), Armon Watts (Bears), Sean Mannion (Seahawks), and now Smith-Marsette.

2-Way Battle Foreseen for Vikings WR4
Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith-Marsette was a trendy selection by fans to thrive in the Vikings 2022 offense, led by first-year, offense-first head coach Kevin O’Connell. Folks believe O’Connell will pass the football more than his predecessor Mike Zimmer, and Smith-Marsette was on tap for some aerial attention. As a rookie, he tallied five catches for 116 receiving yards and two touchdowns while on the field for 86 snaps. He produced when Zimmer and 2021 offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak called his number.

The former Viking will battle these men for depth chart positioning:

  • Darnell Mooney
  • Byron Pringle
  • Equanimeous St. Brown
  • Dante Pettis
  • Velus Jones

The Bears now employ a litany of former Vikings players: Khari Blasingame (FB), Dakota Dozier (OL, Injured Reserve), DeMarquis Gates (LB, Practice Squad), Riley Reiff (OT), Trevor Siemian (QB), Tajae Sharpe (QB, Injured Reserve), and Smith-Marsette.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday 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).

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