Vikings Add New EDGE Rusher

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

On Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers snatched Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Luiji Vilain from the practice squad.

Vikings Add New EDGE Rusher

A day later, the Vikings front office replaced Vilain, adding 25-year-old Quincy Roche, a free agent who last played for the New York Giants.

Like Vilain, who was called up to the active roster in the Vikings win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, Roche is now an injury or promotion away from Minnesota’s gameday lineup.

Vikings Add New EDGE
New York Giants linebacker Quincy Roche (95) forces a fumble from Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4), resulting in a turnover late in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Raiders, 23-16, on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Steelers selected Roche in Round 6 of the 2021 NFL Draft, but he played for the New York Giants for the 2021 and 2022 campaigns. He played quite a bit in 2021 but didn’t get much opportunity in 2022; he ended up signing a futures contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in January. The relationship didn’t last long, though, and Pittsburgh said goodbye at the roster trimdown deadline two months ago.

Roche has remained a free agent since.

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota lost outside linebacker Marcus Davenport 10 days ago in a game at Soldier Field, plopping the defender on injured reserve for at least four games with a high ankle sprain. Then, after the Panthers pilfered the aforementioned Vilain, the Vikings needed some EDGE depth, and Roche is precisely that.

These are the Vikings outside linebackers as of October 24th:

  • Danielle Hunter
  • Marcus Davenport (IR)
  • D.J. Wonnum
  • Patrick Jones
  • Andre Carter
  • Benton Whitley (PS)
  • Quincy Roche (PS)
Karl Roster/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports.

Roche has recorded 407 defensive snaps in two seasons — not a tiny amount — with 40 total tackles, 7 QB pressures, 5 tackles for loss, 5 QB hits, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. He’s played in 17 games since 2021, starting 3, all with the Giants. During his rookie season, when he tallied 401 of his 407 defensive snaps, Roche logged a 59.6 Pro Football Focus grade, with a 68.4 mark via run-stopping and 59.8 per pass rush.

Minnesota’s defense ranks 15th in the business at the moment per DVOA, steadily climbing since a Week 3 loss at home versus the Los Angeles Chargers. In fact, against the Panthers and Bears in recent weeks, Brian Flores’ defense effectively shut down both clubs. And versus the Chiefs and 49ers, Flores’ unit held serve.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings won’t need Roche immediately or perhaps at all with Wonnum and Jones healthy. However, if Davenport’s absence is prolonged or another pass rusher falls injured, Roche could be the next man up.

Roche was college teammates with Miami Dolphins EDGE rusher Jaelan Phillips at the University of Miami.

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