Vikings WR Heads to Steelers

May 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers helmets are seen as the team participates in organized team activities at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Seven Minnesota Vikings players from the 2022 practice squad watched their contracts expire Monday as the franchise opted not to offer them ‘futures’ deals.

Accordingly, the Pittsburgh Steelers swooped and snatched one Vikings player — wide receiver Dan Chisena.

Vikings WR Heads to Steelers
Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu (26) celebrates towards wide receiver Dan Chisena (85) as he scores a touchdown on a kickoff return during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

Joe Rutter from tweeted Monday, “Steelers have signed former Penn State wide receiver Dan Chisena to a reserve/futures contract. Chisena spent the past three seasons with the Vikings organization and was on the team’s practice squad in 2022.”

Vikings WR Heads to Steelers

One of the fastest players on the Vikings since the start of 2020, Minnesota welcomed Chisena via undrafted free agency in April of 2020. The Penn State alumnus played in all 12 of the Nittany Lions games as a senior and caught three passes for 66 yards. With the Vikings, Chisena was renowned for special teams.

Chisena participated in 27 Vikings games from 2020 to 2022, with 496 snaps on special teams and 11 on offense. He was showcased much more frequently with the Mike Zimmer brand of Vikings on special teams but was retained via practice squad last August when the team shaved the roster to 53 players.

Oct 19, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Dan Chisena (88) reacts following a tackle during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports.

In 2022 with Kevin O’Connell in charge, Chisena’s special teams role was clearly diminished, seeing action on just 24 plays early in the season in games against the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders. After that activation from the practice squad, that was it for Chisena on the active roster.

With the Steelers, Chisena joins a WR room with Calvin Austin III, Ja’Marcus Bradley, Miles Boykin, Dez Fitzpatrick, Diontae Johnson, Anthony Miller, Gunner Olszewski, George Pickens, Steven Sims, and Cody White. Yes, a crowded house.

Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Dan Chisena (85) after the loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

Pittsburgh ranked 18 in the NFL via passing offense DVOA in 2022 and 27th in special teams DVOA. If Chisena makes the active roster later this summer, he figures to contribute to the special teams portion of the operation.

The Vikings wide receiver portion of the depth chart, sans Chisena, now includes Thomas Hennigan, Trishton Jackson, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Nailor, K.J. Osborn, Blake Proehl, Jalen Reagor, and Adam Thielen.

Chisena, 25, is known for speed, speed, and more speed, logging a 4.32 forty-yard dash during the buildup to the 2020 NFL Draft. He was teammates with Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Micah Parsons, and Miles Sanders at Penn State.

The Steelers also employ former Vikings Mason Cole and Jesse Davis, both offensive linemen.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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