Vikings Make 4 Roster Moves
The Minnesota Vikings own a 5-4 record through Week 9, with a 71.6% chance of reaching the postseason, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).
The club totally reversed its fortunes after a Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, winning four straight games while losing Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. Whoodathunkit?
Vikings Make 4 Roster Moves
Now, heading into Week 10 and hoping to extend the streak to five wins, the Vikings conducted four roster moves on Wednesday.
1. RB Cam Akers to IR
Akers joined the Vikings in September via low-risk trade with the Los Angeles Rams and served as the RB2 for the last several games.
Without Akers the rest of the way, second-year tailback Ty Chandler will assume RB2 duties and perhaps spark an otherwise downtrodden ground attack.
2. DT Sheldon Day Released
An experienced veteran, the Vikings cut Day loose on Wednesday to make room for the quarterback below.
Day had been attached to Minnesota’s roster for the last couple of seasons, albeit on the practice squad, and has played in 67 NFL games since 2016. He’s played in 67 regular season games for the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Too, there’s a very real chance Day is added back to the practice squad soon.
3. QB Tanner Morgan Signed
A hometowner, this Golden Gopher took Day’s spot on the practice squad and will actually probably be the Vikings QB3 in spirit this week. It is unclear if Morgan will be elevated as an emergency quarterback for Sunday’s showdown with the Saints. We shall see.
At the University of Minnesota from 2018 to 2022, Morgan accounted for 9,469 passing yards in 51 games, with 65 passing touchdowns and 32 interceptions. He finished his collegiate career with a 62.2% completion rate and 8 rushing touchdowns.
Then, the 2023 draft cycle arrived, and Morgan found no new team during the three-day event. However, the USFL’s Michigan Panthers scooped the young quarterback, but Morgan declined the invitation. He later joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent for summer roster auditions but was waived on August 28th, hitting the free agent pool.
Morgan was briefly on the Vikings practice squad a few weeks ago, too, so this is a mini-reunion.
4. WR Justin Jefferson Cleared to Return for Practice
Jefferson’s 21-day window to return from injured reserve was opened this week. The man can practice.
Star Tribune‘s Ben Goessling tweeted, “The Vikings are designating Justin Jefferson to return to practice today, according to a source. He’ll have a 21-day window, though he wouldn’t have to return to game action until after the bye week.”
The takeaway? Jefferson probably won’t play this weekend, instead shifting all Vikings fans’ focus to a road game at the Denver Broncos in Week 11. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said Wednesday it would be “aggressive” to expect Jefferson’s return versus New Orleans.
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).