Vikings Reunion with Prominent WR Unlikely to Move the Needle

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About one month ago, the Minnesota Vikings signed ex-New England Patriots former 1st-Rounder N’Keal Harry, a wide receiver via free agency, to bolster competition at training camp and in the preseason.

Vikings Reunion with Prominent WR Unlikely to Move the Needle

Then, shortly before roster trimdowns last week, Minnesota parted ways with Harry, 25, evidently content with a WR fivesome not including his services.

Fast forward to Labor Day, six days before the regular season, and Minnesota welcomed Harry back, this time to the practice squad.

Prominent WR Unlikely
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The Vikings main account on the X app tweeted Monday, “The Vikings have signed WR N’Keal Harry to the practice squad and released C Alan Ali from the practice squad.”

Harry will now live indefinitely on the practice squad with wide receivers Trishton Jackson, Lucky Jackson, and Thayer Thomas. If something happened injury-wise to Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, Jalen Nailor, or Brandon Powell, one of those four men would get promoted.

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Any move involving Harry will always be noteworthy because of his draft stock. Four years ago, the Patriots spent a 1st-Round pick on the Arizona State alumnus, and hefty expectations always follow such picks. Harry is no different. But his reunion with the Vikings is unlikely to move the needle simply because his playing time will be minimal. There was a chance last month that Harry could’ve swung a spot on the active roster and then made an impact, but the Vikings said no thanks, cut him, and now brought him back to the practice squad.

Harry has tabulated 64 receptions for 714 yards and 5 scores in his four-year career, so he has some gameday experience. He hasn’t taken the NFL by storm since 2019, especially as a former 1st-Rounder, but he was more of a ‘big name’ to land with the Vikings than most folks expected in the first place a month ago.

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The Vikings also cut ties with Harry’s summer teammate Jalen Reagor last week, and that former 1st-Rounder latched onto the Patriots practice squad. It’s almost as if the Vikings swapped Reagor for Harry in terms of 2022 NFL season-speak.

Minnesota owns one of the better WR corps in the business, making Harry’s ability to contribute unlikely. New England, on the other hand, does not have a robust batch of wide receivers like Jefferson, Addison, and Osborn, meaning Reagor could, in theory, eventually join the 53-man roster and rise through the ranks. We shall see.

The regular season kicks off for the Vikings this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beginning the post-Tom Brady era. Minnesota is favored to win by 6.5 points.

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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