12 Players Reunite on Vikings Roster for Practice Squad

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) tosses the ball to running back DeWayne McBride (37) as they face the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

For about 24 hours, some Minnesota Vikings fans lamented the departure of 35+ players after the club shaved the roster to 53 men on Tuesday.

Then Wednesday rolled around, and Minnesota reunited with 12 players who cleared the NFL’s waiver process or stayed on the free-agent wire for a day.

12 Players Reunite on Vikings Roster for Practice Squad

That’s the practice squad, a unit expandable to 16 players. For the post-roster-cut practice squad, this is the group:

  • C Alan Ali
  • CB C.J. Coldon
  • DL Sheldon Day
  • WR Lucky Jackson
  • WR Trishton Jackson
  • RB DeWayne McBride
  • DL T.J. Smith
  • WR Thayer Thomas
  • OLB Luiji Vilain
  • OLB Benton Whitley
  • CB Jaylin Williams
  • CB Joejuan Williams
12 Players Reunite
Minnesota Vikings CB Joejuan Williams addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Thursday, July 27, 2023. Williams joined the Vikings via free agency in April 2023 and was a 2nd-Round draft pick by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots four years ago.

The announcement yielded no extreme surprises, and most Vikings fans would salute the retained batch. It’s an adequate mix of veterans and rookies, headlined by experienced players like Sheldon Day + Joejuan Wiliams, down to undrafted rookies like Thayer Thomas and Jaylin Williams.

Notably, 2022 rookie defensive tackle Esezi Otomewo, a former Minnesota Golden Gopher, did not get the practice squad call, and some believed he’d also join the unit. Perhaps the relationship will still materialize in the coming days or weeks.

7 Predictions for Vikings Training Camp
Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Luiji Vilian (43) performs a drill during mandatory minicamp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota brought Luiji Vilain back, a preseason hero in the last few weeks. Vikings starters did not play in the preseason, and Vilain was afforded playing time to shine accordingly. He was arguably the defensive MVP of the preseason. Now, he’s one promotion away from the regular season roster if something happens injury-wise to Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, Patrick Jones II, D.J. Wonnum, or rookie Andre Carter II.

Aug 19, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back DeWayne McBride (37) runs the ball as Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (rear) and cornerback Tre Avery (23) make the tackle during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

DeWayne McBride also returned on Wednesday, a surprise cut on Tuesday. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafted McBride in Round 7 four months ago, and with longtime tailback Dalvin Cook leaving in June, the UAB alumnus could’ve been on deck for an RB3 job. But the Vikings waived McBride this week and signed ex-Miami Dolphins veteran RB Myles Gaskin.

Like Vilain, McBride is one elevation away from regular season football.

Overhauled Teams
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before a wild card game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, wide receiver Trishton Jackson’s return is noteworthy. The young wideout looked electric at times during training camp and the preseason and spent much of the 2022 season on the Vikings practice squad. He’s routinely responsible for highlight receptions during the summer, and perhaps he’ll showcase his skills in a meaningful game before too long.

The Vikings begin the regular season in 11 days at U.S. Bank Stadium against Baker Mayfield’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Minnesota is favored to win by 6.5.

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.