Vikings Final WR Battle Down to 3-Horse Race

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The Minnesota Vikings signed a safety from Kevin O’Connell’s Los Angeles Rams days on Thursday, Jake Gervase, a special teamer who will likely play Saturday afternoon in Minnesota’s final preseason game.

To make room for Gervase, the Vikings released wide receiver N’Keal Harry after an 18-day stint with the club.

Vikings Final WR Battle Down to 3-Horse Race

And with Harry now hitting free agency, Minnesota’s battle for the WR5 or WR6 spot(s) has become clearer.

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Depending on one’s perception, four Vikings wideouts have jobs on lock Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Jordan Addison, and Jalen Nailor. Here’s the full WR depth chart after Harry’s departure:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: K.J. Osborn
WR3: Jalen Nailor
WR4: Jordan Addison
WR5: Jalen Reagor
WR6: Brandon Powell
WR7: Blake Proehl
WR8: Trishton Jackson
WR9: Lucky Jackson
WR10: Thayer Thomas
WR11: Garett Maag
WR12: Jacob Copeland

Vikings Final WR Battle
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Right in the guts of the 12 names lies the battle. Most Vikings fans don’t expect Blake Proehl to land a 53-man roster spot, although stranger things have happened. Popular consensus suggests Reagor, Powell, and Trishton Jackson reside directly on the roster bubble.

The Vikings have five days to make these decisions, with the 53-man trimdown deadline on August 29th at 3:00 pm CST.

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Reagor didn’t set the world on fire in Year One with the Vikings, but he has produced a successful training camp and preseason in 2023. He can be reasonably considered the frontrunner for WR5. Then, fans wonder if Kevin O’Connell and Co. will keep five WRs or expand to six. The franchise kept five last year heading into the regular season, but it’s a new year and a new team per personnel.

If Minnesota retains six wideouts, Reagor may be closer to a ‘lock’ for WR5, with Powell and Jackson fighting for WR6. Reagor and Powell also provide special teams experience, often valuable during roster shave-downs.

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O’Connell sounded open to keeping six wide receivers last week when he said: “I think that group is going to be very tough for us to figure out whether it’s five or six receivers. Ultimately what the depth looks like on the practice squad, there’s probably four or five names that are all deserving. These are good problems to have, but you’re trying to figure out how it will all fit.”

Carrying six WRs might make the most sense to save good football players from the practice squad or free agency. But if the Vikings stay at five, the next five days are a threeway battle between Reagor, Powell, and Jackson for the fifth spot.

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 OverTheCap.com.