Chris Reed Could Be in Roster Trouble

Indianapolis Colts guard Chris Reed (62) (right) warms up before the team's game against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Indianapolis Colts At Arizona Cardinals. © Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings begin training camp at the end of July, and the schedule shows rookies to arrive on July 23rd and the veterans two days later on July 25th.

Chris Reed Could Be in Roster Trouble

Training camp is the time for players to claim their starting gigs or carve out a role on the team, allowing them to actually make the roster. That could be a problem for veteran offensive guard Chris Reed.

Chris Reed Could Be in Trouble
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Chris Reed (62) performs a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings signed Reed last offseason, and he came with praise from the Colts fanbase to Minnesota. Because the Colts loved their flexible lineman, Vikings fans expected him to be the solution at right guard after years of struggles at the position. One year later, we know better. He is not the solution.

In addition to signing a couple of new players – tight end Colin Thompson and guard Jack Snyder – the team released the first injury update, as they placed Reed on the active NFI (non-football injury) list.

That means he suffered an injury while not with the team and couldn’t perform. However, the team didn’t release any additional details, and the reasons that put a player on the list can vary. Reed may experience some tightness in his calves and misses a day of practice before he comes back or he suffers from a severe injury. There is a decent chance that the signing of Snyder was related to Reed’s injury.

Players can come off the list anytime and might need just an additional day. Regardless, it is not a good start to an important training camp for the veteran. Reed was competing for a starting gig last year, but this year he is competing for a backup spot barring a big surprise.

What's the Broader Plan for Chris Reed?
Chris Reed

He spent his first four NFL seasons in Jacksonville, where he switched between practice squad, active roster, and injured reserve. In 2019, Reed had a short stint in Miami. After another time on the waiver list, the guard signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers and played a few games in 2019 and most games in 2020 for the Panthers.

Once again, as a free agent, he signed with the Indianapolis Colts, where he shared the offensive line room with Quenton Nelson. The journeyman Reed appeared in 68 games and started 30 for various teams. He logged seven games with the Vikings and started one contest.

Despite his experience, Reed must get back to the football field. Last season, he ended up as the third-string center and backup guard who wasn’t even guaranteed to be active on game day. Before the Vikes traded away Jesse Davis, Reed was either playing left guard or third-team right guard, a disastrous result for a promising player in the eyes of many.

Jul 31, 2022; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams guard Jack Snyder (64) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward one year, the Vikings returned every offensive lineman from last season but added some undrafted players. Josh Sokol, Alan Ali, Jackie Chen, Sam Schlueter, and Jack Snyder could steal his roster spot, in addition to Oli Udoh’s possible move to offensive guard.

Reed needs to live up to his status as a solid veteran backup on the practice field, as the team will not gift him a roster spot. He must earn one in direct competition with the other players.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt