The Vikings Made a Bunch of Roster Moves on Tuesday

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The depth of the Minnesota Vikings was questioned all offseason. Through eleven games in the 2023 season, it is fair to say that those claims haven’t been accurate. The Vikings have had to undergo all kinds of roster shakeups, especially via injuries. They have been fine, winning some games without key players at key positions, with end-of-the-roster players stepping up.

The Vikings Made a Bunch of Roster Moves on Tuesday

Some of those players were affected by roster moves after losing in Week 11’s matchup against the Denver Broncos. Once again, injuries played a role and made the actions necessary.

The Vikings Made a Bunch of Roster Moves on Tuesday
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.

What triggered all of those actions was Dean Lowry’s injury. The defensive lineman suffered a torn pec and was placed on IR on Monday. Veteran Sheldon Day was signed to the 53-man roster. He was stashed on the practice squad for the majority of the season, with a short three-day break a couple of weeks ago.

Day was a 2016 fourth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coming out of Notre Dame, the defensive lineman logged 126 snaps on defense through roughly one-and-a-half seasons with the Jaguars before he was waived in November of his sophomore campaign. He then moved on to San Francisco, where he played a rotational role for the remainder of 2017 but also in the following two seasons, including an appearance in the Super Bowl.

Vikings Sign a New Sheldon
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Day then had stints in Indianapolis and Cleveland, where he also was a rotational player. In 2022, the Vikings signed him late in the season to the practice squad. He has yet to play for the Vikings outside of the preseason, in which he shined and made a name for himself among fans of the purple team.

Without Lowry and besides Day, the Vikes only employ four defensive linemen — Harrison Phillips, Jonathan Bullard, Khyiris Tonga, and Jaquelin Roy. There’s a decent chance Day makes his Vikings’ debut at some point in the season.

Wide receiver Trishton Jackson was waived to open the roster spot. Another preseason and training camp star, Jackson saw the field in six games throughout the 2023 season, playing a total of 80 snaps on offense. He caught two passes for nine yards and added an additional reception on a crucial two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Vikings obviously like Jackson, as they kept him around for a third season. It should be expected that they want to add him to the practice squad.

After the New York Giants poached pass-rusher Benton Whitley, the Vikings added outside linebacker Austin Bryant to the practice squad. The 27-year-old has played 35 career games and over 1,000 snaps on defense. A former Lions’ fourth-round pick, Bryant has 4.5 career sacks.

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With Marcus Davenport continuing his stint on IR indefinitely, defensive coordinator Brian Flores has four pass-rushers to his disposal — Danielle Hunter, D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones, and Andre Carter. Bryant joins Quincy Roche on the practice squad.

Special teams ace Dan Chisena was released from the practice squad. The speedster signed with Minnesota in 2020 and was a popular contributor on special teams. The Vikings brought him back to the practice squad after a short stint in Pittsburgh earlier in the season. He is now a free agent.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s roster is now full, but the practice squad has one opening. Perhaps wideout Jackson will fill that spot. A potential return of Justin Jefferson would require another release from the 53-man roster.

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