Pair of Former Vikings on Deck to Start for Steelers

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Like the Minnesota Vikings, the Pittsburgh Steelers released a first unofficial depth chart last week, placing 90 men at roster spots, with the cut-down deadline looming on August 29th.

Pair of Former Vikings on Deck to Start for Steelers

Pittsburgh won its first preseason game last Friday, knocking off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-17 at Raymond James Stadium. The Steelers host the Buffalo Bills this Saturday evening at Acrisure Stadium for Preseason Game No. 2.

And if the current depth chart holds, two prominent Vikings defenders are on tap to start for Pittsburgh in its Week 1 showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.

Patrick Peterson

Peterson joined the Vikings in March of 2021, an out-of-nowhere free-agent addition that offseason to bolster the team’s maligned secondary. He remained attached to the club for two seasons, even sticking around for a coaching change from Mike Zimmer to Kevin O’Connell last year.

on Deck to Start
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The future Hall of Famer performed quite well as a Viking, especially in 2022, tallying a 77.8 Pro Football Focus grade, the 12th-best among all corners leaguewide. Then, the 2023 offseason arrived, and Peterson evidently wasn’t a priority on the Vikings checklist as the 33-year-old joined the Steelers on a two-year, $14 million deal.

Minnesota replaced Peterson with his former teammate from the Arizona Cardinals era, Byron Murphy.

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Now, per the Steelers depth chart, Peterson is in line to start in 2023 on the right side of the defense.

RCB1: Patrick Peterson
RCB2: Joey Porter Jr.
RCB3: Chris Wilcox
RB4: Luq Barcoo

Peterson said before the 2023 offseason that he plans to play two more seasons, and all signs point to Pittsburgh as his final NFL destination.

Chandon Sullivan

Sullivan was the slot cornerback for the 2022 Vikings, an assignment that turned out to be a one-year pitstop, not all that different from former defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Minnesota hired Donatell at the dawn of the Kevin O’Connell age, the team won 13 games with the NFL’s second-worst defense per yards allowed, and Donatell was dismissed four days after the Vikings lost in the postseason. Brian Flores was hired thereafter, and Sullivan wasn’t prioritized for a second season in Minnesota.

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The 27-year-old Packer-turned-Viking actually joined Pittsburgh during the 2023 NFL Draft, a wee bit of odd timing but a sound roster addition for the Steelers, nevertheless.

Referees notably robbed Sullivan of two defensive touchdowns last year — in the same game — against the Indianapolis Colts in December. The Vikings still pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history, but if officials didn’t prematurely blow dead Sullivan’s fumble returns for touchdowns, the 33-0 halftime hole wouldn’t have been as egregious. Such is life.

The NFL Had the Gall to Fine Chandon Sullivan
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In one season with the Vikings, Sullivan fired up a 55.8 Pro Football Focus grade, the 21st-worst leaguewide among 118 qualifying cornerbacks. In that regard, it is no surprise the Vikings said ‘no thanks’ to a Sullivan sequel in 2023. Perhaps he’ll rejuvenate with Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. His touchdowns might even count.

For now, Sullivan is listed as the Steelers primary nickel cornerback ahead of Elijah Riley.

The Steelers also employ one former Viking on offense slated for a starter’s job — center Mason Cole.

Pittsburgh is forecasted to win 8.5 games in 2023 per oddsmakers, the same total assigned to Minnesota.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by