Meet the 13 Players on the Vikings Roster Bubble

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings must cut the current roster by about 40% by Tuesday, August 29th, at 3:00 p.m. CST. That’s the deadline for the final summer roster, with the regular season nine days away after that.

The Vikings can then obviously tweak the roster at any time, but the 53-man depth chart reveal will provide a good indicator of the team’s personnel plans for 2023.

Meet the 13 Players on the Vikings Roster Bubble

And with one final preseason game afoot Saturday afternoon, these 13 players are firmly on the roster bubble. They’re listed alphabetically.

1. Ross Blacklock (DT)

Meet the 13 Players
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Ross Blacklock (96) leaves the field after victory in the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings traded for Blacklock one year ago around this time on the calendar, in fact — and the experiment didn’t amount to much in Year One.

Now, Blacklock must dethrone Jonathan Bullard and others for a roster spot, which feels a bit unlikely.

2. Andre Carter II (OLB)

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.

This young pass rusher was all the rage entering summer, but then training camp arrived, and Carter II hasn’t done much. He was also injured for a couple of weeks in August.

Carter II feels like a practice squad candidate at the moment.

3. Sheldon Day (DT)

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.

A steady and quiet defensive tackle, recent momentum suggests Day could earn a place on the 53-man roster. At the beginning of camp, he felt like a sure-thing roster cut, but that has changed. Day could be a part of the 2023 Vikings.

4. Troy Dye (ILB)

PurplePTSD: Cousins Evidently Had a Terrible Game
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Troy Dye (45) reacts during the fourth against the Indianapolis Colts quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

A veteran and holdover from the Mike Zimmer days, Dye is locked in a battle with “the other Troy” for backup linebacking duties. He’s probably safer than most to get the nod for the regular season, but Dye wasn’t handpicked by this Vikings leadership regime, which may work against him.

5. Trishton Jackson (WR)

Somber
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Trishton Jackson (9) at TCO Performance Center. 2022 Minnesota Vikings training camp. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson has compiled several nifty catches and highlights in two summers with the Vikings and will probably join the practice squad if he doesn’t make the regular season roster. The man has playmaking capabilities and deserves an opportunity to display those in the regular season at some point.

6. DeWayne McBride (RB)

Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebacker Levi Bell (98) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back DeWayne McBride (37) during the first half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

Few would’ve guessed McBride would be straddling the roster bubble in late August, but here we are. Minnesota has worked out several running backs in the last three weeks, signing two, Aaron Dykes and Abram Smith, suggesting McBride may not be ready for the 53-man roster.

7. Nick Muse (TE)

Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) catches a pass for a touchdown over Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tre Brown (22) during the first half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

This preseason god might’ve done enough to make the final roster, but T.J. Hockenson, Josh Oliver, and Johnny Mundt stand in his way. Muse has certainly done his part in the preseason, scoring against the Seattle Seahawks a couple of weeks ago in circus fashion and looking like aWR1 versus the Tennessee Titans. But Minnesota would have to “make an exception” to keep four TEs for September.

8. Brandon Powell (WR)

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

If Jalen Nailor weren’t a shoo-in for a roster spot, Powell likely would be. But Nailor is indeed on track for WR4, meaning Powell has to hope the Vikings keep six WRs. The next guy is his closest competition for WR5 or WR6.

9. Jalen Reagor (WR)

Vikings 2022 Trade
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor (5) celebrates a catch against the New York Jets during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Joining the Vikings late last summer via trade, Reagor didn’t produce too many electric plays in 2022. Yet, there’s always 2023, and it’s unclear if Minnesota is ready to get rid of Reagor just yet. He’s performed well this summer, at training camp and in the preseason, doing his damndest to remain on the active depth chart.

10. Chris Reed (OG)

Viking Took
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Chris Reed (62) performs a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Reed has lived on the Non-Football Injury list for weeks, casting his 2023 certainty into doubt. He’s a terrific depth offensive lineman, but no one has seen him in the summer. He’s a coinflip.

11. Troy Reeder (ILB)

Feb 11, 2022; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder during press conference at Cal Lutheran University. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A coworker with Kevin O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams days, the Vikings will likely keep Reeder or Troy Dye for the fourth linebacker’s job. Who will it be?

12. NaJee Thompson (CB)

NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Louisiana Tech vs Georgia Southern
Dec 23, 2020; New Orleans, LA, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles wide receiver NaJee Thompson (6) catches a pass against Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half of the New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Every so often, a man plays like a wizard in the preseason and then the team still cuts him. It happened last year with T.Y. McGill in Minnesota. Thompson has assuredly played well enough to gain a roster spot he’s a special teams fiend — but will the Vikings keep six cornerbacks? They should if it means saving Thompson.

13. Oli Udoh (OT)

Vikings Lineman Avoids Legal Trouble in Miami
Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass as guard Oli Udoh (74) blocks and Carolina Panthers defensive end DaQuan Jones (90) pressures in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Udoh is probably safe to make the club, but Vederian Lowe has emerged as a solid reservist tackle this summer. Then, he encountered some silly penalties last weekend versus the Titans never a good thing. The 26-year-old played quite well in 2022, but folks shouldn’t be utterly surprised if he’s released.


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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