Vikings Grab Ex-Bears Defender

Vikings Grab Ex-Bears Defender
Aug 28, 2021; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Duke Shelley. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings said goodbye to preseason hero T.Y. McGill on Tuesday and hello to ex-Chicago Bears cornerback Duke Shelley.

Shelley spent three seasons with the Bears.

McGill, who made a notable splash in the preseason, is now formally off the roster and can sign anywhere. Confusion existed about the severity of his injury — folks wondered if it was season-ending — but McGill is not on injured reserve and could conceivably play for a team this weekend if needed.

Shelley, 25, joins corners Parry Nickerson and Tay Gowan on the practice squad after the Vikings evidently showed no interest in re-signing Harrison Hand, who was released by the New York Giants on Labor Day. Hand played for the Vikings in 2020 and 2021, and some believed he’d return to the organization.

Nov 8, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bears defensive back Duke Shelley. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports.

The Bears drafted Shelley in Round 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft, 15 picks after Minnesota grabbed DT Armon Watts, now a member of the Bears. He’s played 30 career games while starting six, accounting for 53 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three passes defended, and no interceptions. Shelley played about 40% of all Bears defensive snaps in 2021 en route to a 100.0 passer-rating-against.

Here’s his Pro Football Focus resume:

  • 2019 = 64.0 (mainly special teams)
  • 2020 = 56.5
  • 2021 = 53.7
Aug 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Duke Shelley. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

At 5’9″ and 176 pounds, the Kansas State alumnus tallied 165 tackles and eight interceptions in 37 college games. Shelley also returned kicks and punts during his senior season.

If called up to the Vikings active roster, Shelley would likely perform slot corner duties, the job currently manned by Chandon Sullivan.

The Georgia native has played four games against the Vikings in his young career.

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