Former Vikings TE Done for the Year

Fans cheer after the playing of the national anthem at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park on Jan. 22. © Tina MacIntyre-Yee /Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Buffalo Bills have the NFL’s third-best odds to win Super Bowl XLVIII in 2023, but they’ll try to effectuate those hopes without a young tight end who used to play for the Minnesota Vikings.

That’s Zach Davidson, and unless the man is waived with an injury settlement and returns, he appears out for the year with an undisclosed injury.

Former Vikings TE Done for the Year

The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia tweeted Wednesday, “According to the NFL’s transaction report, the Bills have placed reserve tight end Zach Davidson on Injured Reserve.”

Vikings TE Done
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Zach Davidson (40) carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second half at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

On the first day of minicamp, Bills TE1 Dawson Knox was also injured with an apparent leg malady, sitting out the second day of the event before Buffalo canceled Day Three of minicamp altogether. Bills minicamp was tumultuous, to say the least, headlined by Stefon Diggs’ antics on Tuesday. Diggs later returned to camp on Wednesday.

Davidson, 24, was scooped out of the 2021 NFL Draft in Round 5 by former general manager Rick Spielman. He was ‘given’ to the Vikings by the Bills via the Stefon Diggs trade. In 2020, Diggs culminated his frustration with Minnesota’s run-first offense by departing the Vikings for Buffalo. And Davidson, along with Justin Jefferson, Camryn Bynum, Janarius Robinson, and Kenny Willekes, was a trade component in the swap.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Zach Davidson (40) is tackled by Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Kyle Peko (92) and Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Luke Masterson (59) during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

The Central Missouri alumnus, Davidson, began his career in college as a punter. After redshirting his freshman year, he ranked second in the country with 44.3 yards per punt. In his second season, he played both positions, punter and tight end. Davidson broke out as a tight end amid his junior year when he caught 40 passes for 894 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named First-Team All-MIAA at both positions and First-Team All-American in Division II.

His 6’7,″ 245 lbs frame made him an intriguing prospect for the Vikings. Davidson also possesses freakish-for-a-TE speed, running a 4.6-second 40-yard dash during the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

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May 26, 2021; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Zach Davidson (40) participates in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Davidson spent all of the 2021 season on the Vikings practice squad. He was waived thereafter on August 31st, 2022, when Minnesota essentially purged most of the 2021 draft class with the new leadership regime led by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell. Davidson latched onto Buffalo two days later and spent all of 2022 on the Bills practice squad.

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Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Albert Wilson (25) celebrates with Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Dan Chisena (85) and Minnesota Vikings tight end Zach Davidson (40) after scoring a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Sans Davidson, this is Buffalo TE’s room heading into training camp six weeks from now:

TE1: Dawson Knox
TE2: Dalton Kincaid
TE3: Quintin Morris
TE4: Joel Wilson

Davidson can be waived with an injury settlement if he heals and perhaps sign with another team in 2023, although that feels unlikely at the moment. Buffalo is expected to sign another player soon to re-up its summer roster to 90 players.

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).

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