Vikings Reunite with Veteran Defender

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

He wasn’t gone long.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Joejuan Williams rejoined the club on Wednesday, now a practice squad member and one injury away from the gameday roster.

Vikings Reunite with Veteran Defender

The Vikings social media team made it official with a tweet, “The Vikings have signed CB Joejuan Williams to the practice squad and released C.J. Coldon Jr. from the practice squad.”

Reunite with Veteran
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Williams had spent about a month on the Bears roster before Wednesday and actually played against the Vikings in Week 6. Now, he’ll toss on purple clothing again and has an outside shot of playing against the Bears in a few weeks.

Before the Bears relationship, Williams was a member of the Vikings for about five months, signed last April, and was stolen from the practice squad by Chicago in September. He’s essentially had an NFC North hopscotch life for seven months.

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports.

A 2nd-Round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams never quite took off with the New England Patriots, hence the lack of priority in extending him beyond a rookie deal. Williams lasted four seasons on Bill Belichick’s team but missed all of 2022 on injured reserve.

Since 2019, Williams has played 40 games while starting one, tabulating 513 defensive snaps and experiencing action on 379 special teams plays. Because of the 2022 injury, he was basically a forgotten man as a Patriot and found his way to the Vikings as a roster-bubble candidate in April. He missed the cut but later returned to the practice squad — until the Bears theft.

Here’s Williams’ resume to date, per passer-rating-against since 2019:

  • 2019 = 56.8
  • 2020 = 79.7
  • 2021 = 96.8
  • 2022 = Injured
  • 2023 = Not Targeted
Dark Horse Defender Could Win Vikings CB Job
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And, of course, the Pro Football Focus skinny:

  • 2019 = 67.8
  • 2020 = 55.5
  • 2021 = 66.6
  • 2022 = Injured
  • 2023 = 67.4

A shoulder injury derailed his fourth season as a pro, and Williams will hope for his chance on the Vikings 53-man roster before too long. As of November 1st, these are the Vikings cornerbacks:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • NaJee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams (PS)
  • Jaylin Williams (PS)
Minnesota Vikings CB Joejuan Williams addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Thursday, July 27, 2023. Williams joined the Vikings via free agency on April 23 and was a 2nd-Round draft pick by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots four years ago.

The Vikings defense ranks 12th in the NFL per EPA/Play after Week 8. Under defensive coordinator Brian Flores, the group has improved weekly for the last month.

Williams will turn 26 in December.

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