Vikings LB Hits Injured Reserve

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings linebacker William Kwenkeu was waived with an injury designation earlier this week but returned to the club and will now hit injured reserve.

The Vikings found Kwenkeu as an undrafted free agent last year after the 2022 NFL Draft.

Vikings LB Hits Injured Reserve

KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson tweeted the news Tuesday afternoon, “Vikings placed William Kwenkeu on IR after being waived-injured.”

Vikings LB Hits Injured
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Kwenkeu is now assured of missing at least the first four regular season games of 2023, although he was believed to be a roster-bubble candidate heading into the final formulation of the 53-man roster on August 29th.

Minnesota has already placed two other players on injured reserve this summer, Malik Knowles (WR) and James Lynch (DT). Kwenkeu makes it three, and the team will hope to keep the number low with the regular season 26 days away.

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Kwenkeu battled for a roster spot at this time last year and ultimately joined the practice squad. He was later promoted to the active roster on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots and played almost exclusively on special teams, totaling 6 games played, 94 snaps, and 2 tackles. The young defender experienced defensive snaps, just 13 of them, in Weeks 17 and 18 of the regular season.

This year, Kwenkeu was once again locked in a quest for the 53-man roster, attempting to make the final roster with these linebackers:

  • Jordan Hicks
  • Brian Asamoah
  • Troy Dye
  • Troy Reeder
  • Ivan Pace Jr.
  • Abraham Beauplan
  • Wilson Huber
  • Tanner Vallejo
Former Vikings Safety Joins Packers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The man listed near the bottom of the rotation, Tanner Vallejo, was added to the roster this week after Kwenkeu was temporarily waived with the injury destination. Like Kwenkeu, Vallejo lives on the roster bubble that will gain clarity on August 29th.

PurplePTSD editor and VikingsTerritory contributor Josh Frey was high on Kwenkeu’s chances of making the regular roster. He wrote last month, “If Brian Flores wants to keep young, athletic players in the depth of his linebacker room (similarly to how he built his Miami Dolphins defenses), Kwenkeu is certainly someone to keep an eye on. The Temple product recorded 10.5 TFLs during his final collegiate season, and while Troy Reeder may have been signed during free agency, he saw his playing time plummet in 2022 with the Chargers. In addition, it saves Minnesota more money to get rid of Reeder than to do so with Kwenkeu.”

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

Next up for the Vikings? Preseason Game No. 2 — at home versus the Tennessee Titans this Saturday night.

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).

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