Vikings Waive and Immediately Replace Offensive Lineman

Iowa defensive back Riley Moss (33) gets past a block from Minnesota offensive lineman Sam Schlueter (70) during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.. © Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings have the rare luxury to be able to keep 91 players on the roster, as defensive lineman Junior Aho doesn’t count against the 90-man roster because of the International Pathway Program to help international players to start their NFL careers. One player will not be a part of those 91 players anymore.

Vikings Waive and Immediately Replace Offensive Lineman

Vikings Open Up a Roster Spot
Minnesota offensive lineman Sam Schlueter (70) blocks Purdue defensive end DaMarcus Mitchell (15) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. © Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Offensive lineman Sam Schlueter was waived with an injury designation. The official announcement from the Vikings stated: “The Vikings have waived (non-football illness) T Sam Schlueter.”

The severity of the illness or any further details are unknown. One important aspect is that Schlueter would revert back to the Vikings if he went unclaimed but he would then automatically be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Schlueter only had outside chances to make the 53-man roster as offensive tackle is one of the team’s strongest positions. Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill are the two starters and barring injuries, both will keep those jobs for many years to come.

A Vikings Stalwart
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Their backups are Blake Brandel at left tackle and Oli Udoh at right tackle. Because of O’Neill’s recovery from injury, it is Udoh running with the first-team offense at RT. Brandel was the first man off the bench when Darrisaw missed time in 2022 with a couple of concussions. The team also employs Vederian Lowe, a 2022 draft pick who they kept as a fifth OT in his debut season, an unusual measure.

The waived lineman is a University of Minnesota alumnus. As an undrafted rookie in 2022, Schlueter signed with the San Francisco 49ers but didn’t make the team, spending some time with the New York Jets on their practice squad.

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Opening up a roster spot, the Vikings immediately found his replacement as a depth offensive lineman and signed offensive tackle Christian DiLauro, according to Aaron Wilson on Twitter: “Former Broncos offensive tackle Christian DiLauro signed with Vikings following a successful workout, per a league source”

It was not the popular signing of Dalton Risner, a potential upgrade at offensive guard to keep Kirk Cousins clean but a former teammate of his. While Tuesday’s meeting with him went well according to head coach Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings are either waiting until some details are resolved or they won’t sign him after all.

DiLauro is a 28-year-old journeyman in the NFL. He had tenures with seven consecutive teams since 2018 when he was an undrafted rookie out of the University of Illinois. DiLauro appeared in five games through the last two seasons with the Broncos and the Titans and saw 15 snaps on special teams.

Just like Schlueter, DiLauro is unlikely to make noise in Minnesota, on his eighth team in his professional football career.

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