The Vikings Made 3 Roster Moves on Wednesday

Vikings Team Culture Can’t Be Matched 
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The Minnesota Vikings have about a 25% probability of reaching the playoffs in 2023, starting 2-4 through six games and losing standout performers Justin Jefferson and Marcus Davenport to injury for a handful of games.

The Vikings Made 3 Roster Moves on Wednesday

Minnesota hosts the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football in five days, and the team’s playoff chances will climb to roughly 45% if they’re victorious.

Vikings Made 3
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And to prepare for the 49ers, the Vikings made three roster moves on Wednesday — two favorable and one unfortunate.

Kene Nwangwu Activated to 53-Man Roster

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The Vikings fastest player is back — officially.

Nwangwu missed the first six games of 2023 with a back injury but will return on Monday, presumably to return kicks — and perhaps be intermixed in the offense. Because of his speed, Vikings fans have longed for Nwangwu’s inclusion in the offensive gameplan, but the team has rarely obliged.

The Iowa State alumnus was actually listed as the Vikings RB2 during the summer, but Cam Akers has since swiped that gig.

Minnesota’s offense and special teams need a speed infusion, and Nwangwu is just what the doctor ordered.

Jalen Nailor Designated for Return

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Battling a hamstring injury like teammate Justin Jefferson, second-year wideout Jalen Nailor is on a path to return on a regular season field.

The Vikings designated Nailor to return, meaning the club formally has 21 days to activate Nailor for the 53-man roster. The aforementioned Nwangwu was in the same boat a week ago.

And the timing is terrific for Nailor. Jefferson will miss at least the next three games, and after Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn on the depth chart, it’s slim pickings for productive WRs. Nailor is known for speed — his nickname is Speedy — so he’ll add an intriguing element to Minnesota’s offense in a quasi-WR3 role.

Nailor banked 9 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown as a rookie in 2022.

Marcus Davenport to IR

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Then, the bad news.

The Vikings will return to their Week 1-3 predicament without Davenport, who was put on the shelf for at least four games with a high ankle sprain.

Davenport had recently returned to the Vikings defense — he missed most of the first three games with an ankle injury; the other ankle now presents the problem — and now defensive coordinator Brian Flores will pivot to D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones, and rookie Andre Carter for pass-rushing snaps on the opposite side of Danielle Hunter.

To start the season, Flores’ defense struggled to get home on opposing quarterbacks, so we shall see if the next four games are any different. Wonnum has shined in the last few games, especially at the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.

The Vikings defense ranks 15th per DVOA and 16th via EPA/Play through six games

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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