4 Losers from the Vikings 2023 Preseason

Tennessee Titans running back Tyjae Spears (32) slips past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings preseason is complete, ending the three-game adventure with an 0-3 record and a preseason losing streak dating back to 2019.

Minnesota begins the regular season in two weeks at home versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

4 Losers from the Vikings 2023 Preseason

These players’ stock fell during the preseason losers of standing on the depth chart with roster cuts two days away. They’re listed alphabetically.

1. Andrew Booth (CB)

Fears Confirmed: Vikings Rookie Lost for Season
Mar 5, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson defensive back Andrew Booth (DB04) talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Andrew Booth shouldn’t be running with third-team defensive personnel. He was a 2nd-Round draft pick 18 months ago, meaning his ascension to a starter’s job (or at least a CB3) should be straightforward.

No cigar, though, as Booth produced a forgettable preseason and was even on the field during the third preseason game. He has a lot of development to undergo, and assuming the Vikings don’t get funky and waive the defender, he’ll evidently mature on the fly during the regular season.

And that’s if he stays healthy his main weakness exiting Clemson and entering the NFL in 2022.

2. Andre Carter II (OLB)

4 Losers from
Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Jake Curhan (74) blocks Minnesota Vikings linebacker Andre Carter II (55) during the first half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

Two men received undrafted free-agent hype from Vikings loyalists: Ivan Pace Jr. and Andre Carter II.

One man actionized the optimism, and it wasn’t Carter II. Minnesota signed the Army alumnus to a chunky UDFA contract, but for now, he’ll likely live on the practice squad or at the bottom of the 53-man roster. Put simply, he didn’t do much during the preseason and missed the first part of training camp with an injury.

The Vikings don’t need Carter II to blossom or even play in 2023. Yet, with Pace Jr. skyrocketing up the defense, folks were spoiled and hoped general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had found two gems.

Moreover, if Carter II lives on the practice squad this autumn, Minnesota must hope he isn’t sniped by a different team. That happens.

3. DeWayne McBride (RB)

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.

Indeed, McBride scored two touchdowns in the preseason, and those can’t be wholly discounted. However, to the “eye test,” McBride didn’t set the world on fire and showed little electric playmaking ability. He basically looked like a halfback who takes the ball and averages three yards per carry or so.

He needs time to grow in the pros, and the practice squad is perfect for the assignment.

4. Thayer Thomas (WR)

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Bobby Price (26) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Thayer Thomas (89) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas bungled two punt returns in two preseason games, and for a man already living in the shadows of the Vikings depth chart, the gaffes were probably deadly for his longshot to make the active roster.

The young wideout was unlikely to earn a spot on the 53-man roster in the first place thanks to a crowded WR room, and his dreams, at least for a year, are likely kaput for the regular season. We shall see if he gets a practice squad invitation.


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.

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