Former Viking Rejoins Titans Roster

Jul 29, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; View of helmets on the field as Tennessee Titans players finish training camp practice. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Tennessee Titans venture into Week 3 as owners of a 1-1 record, with a loss at the New Orleans Saints and a win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the books.

Mike Vrabel’s team has a road date with the Cleveland Browns up next on Sunday and is a 3.5-point underdog.

Former Viking Rejoins Titans Roster

And on Wednesday, the Titans re-signed a former Minnesota Vikings defender to its practice squad, Jaleel Johnson.

Rejoins Titans
Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson (94) celebrates after the game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Johnson previously joined Tennessee’s summer roster in May, stayed for a few months, and was cut during 53-man trimdowns on August 29th.

Now, he’s back, an injury or promotion away from the active roster.

Nov 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson (94) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen (2) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings found Johnson in Round 4 of the 2017 NFL Draft, and he remained attached to the purple roster for the duration of his rookie contract. Here’s his resume to date:

  • Minnesota Vikings (2017–2020)
  • *New Orleans Saints (2021)
  • Houston Texans (2021)
  • *New Orleans Saints (2022)
  • Houston Texans (2022)
  • Atlanta Falcons (2022)
  • Tennessee Titans (2023)
    * = No regular season playing time

And the Pro Football Focus grades by year:

  • 2017 = 60.0
  • 2018 = 53.7
  • 2019 = 50.9
  • 2020 = 35.3
  • 2021 = 44.4
  • 2022 = 43.6
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham (30) and defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson (94) celebrate after the game against Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson has indeed embarked on a sinuous adventure since leaving Minnesota. He spent those four seasons in Minnesota, playing 53 games while starting 20. In fact, he started all 16 games in 2020 after Linval Joseph departed the organization, Michael Pierce opted out because of COVID, and Shamar Stephen shifted to nose tackle.

The 29-year-old has played in 74 career games and logged 125 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 12 QB hits, and 6.5 sacks.

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (94) stretches during an OTA practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, May 31, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Johnson would be the next man up if something happened to one of these Titans defensive tackles:

  • DT1: Jeffery Simmons
  • DT2: Denico Autry
  • DT3: Kyle Peko

Tennessee has around +210 odds to win the AFC South in 2023, currently playing second fiddle to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that pulled off one the most triumphant playoff comebacks in NFL history over the Los Angeles Chargers in January and is off to a 1-1 start.

Johnson was teammates with C.J. Beathard, Christian Kirksey, Noah Fant, George Kittle, and Brandon Scherff at the University of Iowa. He’ll turn 29 in July. He was named 1st-Team Big 10 at Iowa in 2016.

The Titans are the 25th-best team in football through two weeks, per DVOA, with a 16th-ranked defense and 26th-ranked offense.

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