Familiar Face Promoted for Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings lost defensive lineman Dean Lowry for the rest of 2023 on Sunday, as the longtime Green Bay Packer and first-year Viking tore his pectoral muscle.

Lowry had played 32.5% of all Vikings’ defensive snaps in during 2023, so his absence will be felt no matter what.

Familiar Face Promoted for Vikings

And after Lowry hit injured reserve, Minnesota promoted from within, adding Sheldon Day to the active roster from the practice squad.

Familiar Face
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) recovers his fumble next to Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Day (52) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings’ social media tweeted Tuesday, “The Vikings have signed DL Sheldon Day from the practice squad to the active roster. WR Trishton Jackson has been waived. OLB Austin Bryant has been signed to the practice squad and WR Dan Chisena has been released from the practice squad.”

With Lowry’s injury, plus Day to the gameday roster, these are Minnesota defensive tackles heading into Week 12:

  • Harrison Phillips
  • Jonathan Bullard
  • Khyiris Tonga
  • Jaquelin Roy
  • Sheldon Day
  • T.J. Smith (PS)
  • Junior Aho (PS)

It’s also worth noting that sometimes in Brian Flores’ defense, traditional defensive tackles are labeled defensive ends for those keeping track at home.

Vikings Sign Defender to
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The Vikings added Day to the roster last December and re-signed the veteran defender to a futures contract in January. He’s been released a few times in the last 11 months but added back to the practice squad soon after, a popular Vikings practice for roster maintenance.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Day in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he’s played for the 49ers, Colts, Browns, and Vikings since. In fact, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah worked in the 49ers’ and Browns’ front office during Day’s employment in San Francisco and Cleveland. There was an apparent connection between Adofo-Mensah and Day forged at former workplaces.

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The 29-year-old has ample experience, playing 67 games in six seasons, starting 3 of those contests while racking up 76 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, and 7 sacks. And per Pro Football Focus, Day usually resides in the high-50s and low-60s range for performance.

During the 2021 season in Cleveland, Day played 46% of all defensive snaps, a career-high for the Notre Dame alumnus. He was also a part of the 49ers team that reached the Super Bowl in 2019 before a loss to Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs.

Vikings Sign a New Sheldon
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Day was actually on the San Francisco team that defeated the Vikings in the 2019 postseason. The Vikings upset the New Orleans Saints in the Wildcard Round, traveled to California for a Divisional Round date, and were dismissed by San Francisco, 27-10. Day logged two tackles and a tackle for loss in that contest.

Here’s his full PFF resume:

  • 2016 = 59.7
  • 2017 69.3
  • 2018 59.1
  • 2019 60.7
  • 2020 56.8
  • 2021 64.7
  • 2022 DNP

The Vikings host the Chicago Bears in Week 12 on Monday Night Football and are favored by 3.5 points to win. Minnesota had defeated Chicago five times in a row.

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.