Jets Replace Injured ex-Viking With Different ex-Viking

Ifeadi Odenigbo Finds New NFL Home
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NFL rosters during the preseason are undergoing big changes. Every team makes moves almost daily. The Vikings waived William Kwenkeu on Sunday and signed Tanner Vallejo, also a linebacker but with special teams focus. On Monday, the Jets swapped a couple of ex-Vikings.

Jets Replace Injured ex-Viking With Different ex-Viking

replace injured
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The Chicago Bears released Rick Spielman’s draft pick Jalyn Holmes not even two weeks ago. He now joins Aaron Rodgers’ team, the New York Jets. To make room for the new defender, the Jets placed former Vikings starting edge-rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo on injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson.

A fascinating transaction from a Vikings standpoint. Holmes came out of Ohio State in 2019, and Spielman pulled the trigger in the fourth round. He was a decorated defender at the top program, earning all-conference honors and playing every game in three years.

Still, he wasn’t drafted until the third day of the draft for simple reasons. His production wasn’t great, and he failed to shine on a defensive line featuring all kinds of NFL talent, including Nick Bosa. In addition to that, Holmes was a tweener between edge rusher and interior lineman. Too slow to play outside, too small to play inside — a problem in the NFL.

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Holmes only infrequently appeared in the lineup of Mike Zimmer’s defense, playing in five games as a rookie and six as a sophomore. His largest role came in 2020 after Everson Griffen left in free agency and Danielle Hunter got hurt. The defender started nine games and played in 14, logging 617 snaps.

Despite his prominent role in the struggling defense, Holmes barely made an impact, failing to record a single sack. He only made 36 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. The Vikings cut the defender after the 2021 preseason after three seasons. He managed to sack the quarterback only one time with the team.

His tenure with the Vikings was followed by eight games with the Saints and one with the Bears in the next two seasons. His career sack total is still stuck at one. The defender was released from the Bears to make room for Yannick Ngakoue, also a former Viking.

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Odenigbo is in a similar position. He made room for Holmes, but his season is over. While a player can come off IR during the season, that is not the case if he is placed on IR before the season begins. He is not allowed to come off IR, barring an injury settlement that would make him a free agent.

The former Northwestern standout spent his rookie year in the NFL on Minnesota’s practice squad. After he was cut in September 2018 on the final cut day, the Browns claimed the former Vikings pass rusher off waivers and waived him just three weeks later, and the Cardinals claimed him. Odenigbo played his first career game for them, but once again, he didn’t last long with the team.

By claiming him, the Vikings brought their former pass rusher back to the organization, and he was a part of the practice squad again. In 2019, he made the 53-man roster and appeared in all 16 games. Odenigbo recorded incredible seven sacks and even scored a touchdown after a fumble recovery.

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Hunter missed the entire 2020 season, and Griffen left in free agency, so the starting spots were up for grabs. Odenigbo started all 15 games that season but failed to reach the same level of play he provided in 2019.

Last year, Odenigbo joined the Colts, where he recorded 3.5 sacks but was released in December and spent a couple of weeks on the practice squad of the Buccaneers. Now 29 years old, his career is slowly coming to an end, and missing extended time with an injury is never a good sign for an aging player.

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