Incognito Vikings WR Could Make 53-Man Roster

Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Trishton Jackson (9) at TCO Performance Center. 2022 Minnesota Vikings training camp. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Heading into the 2022 regular season, the Minnesota Vikings initially rostered five wide receivers: Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Jalen Nailor.

Smith-Marsette was released soon after initial roster trimdowns to make room for Jalen Reagor, so the grouping became: Jefferson, Thielen, Osborn, Reagor, and Nailor.

Incognito Vikings WR Could Make 53-Man Roster

Fast forward one year, and these WRs currently live on the Vikings roster:

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

And while Jefferson, Osborn, Addison, and Nailor are shoo-ins to make the 53-man roster, the final spot — or second-to-final spot if the team keeps six WRs — is mysterious. Folks should prepare for Reagor, Powell, or Proehl to steal WR5 responsibilities.

But don’t rule out ‘the other guy’ — Trishton Jackson.

Incognito Vikings WR
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Trishton Jackson (9) reacts after a reception in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

More often than not, Jackson does something noteworthy with the football, even if it hasn’t translated to regular season playing time with the Los Angeles Rams or Vikings. The 25-year-old cousin to former NFLer Braylon Edwards has an outside chance at making the Vikings roster as WR5 or WR6.

Why? Well, the man’s highlight reel continues to dazzle and is nothing new. The latest episode occurred Monday at training camp:

Too, this is not new for Jackson. In fact, it’s a theme.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Trishton Jackson (9) eyes the goal line after being tackled by Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Darius Phillips (20) during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

This clip of Jackson is from one year ago at Vikings camp:

There’s also this from Minnesota’s preseason game versus the Denver Broncos in 2022:

The man is a highlight reel — one who hasn’t quite caught on for a roster spot through three seasons in the league. An undrafted free agent with the Rams in 2020, Jackson stayed on Los Angeles’ depth chart for about a year and a half before eventually landing with the Vikings in 2021. He’s impressed back-to-back Vikings coaching staffs and general managers.

Daily Norseman‘s Tyler Ireland tweeted about Jackson this week, “I think we need to keep Trishton Jackson on the practice squad for next year when Osborn leaves. T-Jack becomes WR4 behind Jefferson, Addison, and Nailor.”

And he may not be wrong.

Aug 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Trishton Jackson (83) warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports.

Osborn enters a contract year in 2023, and Minnesota’s selection of Jordan Addison in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft seems to indicate Osborn’s last hurrah in Minnesota this season. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Reagor isn’t guaranteed a roster spot — at all — at the end of August. Then, Jackson would only have to dethrone newcomer Brandon Powell and veteran Blake Proehl for an active roster spot, about three doable feats.

In 2019, Jackson snagged 66 receptions for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns at Syracuse. The man has a history of production and is said to be close pals with Jefferson and Osborn.

During the last two offseasons, Jackson was an extreme longshot to make the 53-man roster, but with Adam Thielen departed for the Carolina Panthers, Addison developing, and uncertainty at WR5, Jackson now has more than a puncher’s chance to, alas, see regular season playing time.

Watch him during the preseason games. His first stop is at the Seattle Seahawks in nine days.

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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