The Vikings have announced their first list of inactives of the 2021 season. Here's the group of seven players who won't be in uniform for the opener in Cincinnati:
- LB Anthony Barr
- LT Christian Darrisaw
- QB Kellen Mond
- CB Cameron Dantzler
- DE Patrick Jones II
- DT James Lynch
- TE Ben Ellefson
With QB Sean Mannion and RB Ameer Abdullah elevated from the practice squad for this game, the Vikings needed seven inactives to get down to 48 players on the active gameday roster.
The most notable of those seven has to be Dantzler. Back at the start of this offseason, prior to free agency, Dantzler was seen as the Vikings' No. 1 cornerback, with fellow 2020 rookie Jeff Gladney at No. 2. Dantzler was coming off a solid rookie season in which he missed some time due to injury but showed off his upside with outstanding performances against the Jaguars and Bears late in the year.
But the Vikings brought in Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, and Mackensie Alexander in free agency, and Breeland easily beat out Dantzler for a starting job during training camp and the preseason. Dantzler ended up falling behind Kris Boyd on the depth chart, becoming Minnesota's No. 4 outside corner. That's why Boyd is active today and Dantzler isn't. Harrison Hand is also active because he's Alexander's backup at slot corner. Gladney got in major legal trouble and was cut, meaning neither of the Vikings' early picks at CB in last year's draft are a factor to start this season.
Mond is a big name, but it's not surprising to see him inactive. Mannion is the backup quarterback right now.
With Jones and Lynch inactive, the Vikings are rolling with eight defensive linemen. The starters are Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson, and D.J. Wonnum, while the backups/rotational guys are Everson Griffen, Armon Watts, Sheldon Richardson, and Stephen Weatherly.
Ellefson being inactive means the Vikings' three tight ends are Tyler Conklin, Chris Herndon, and Brandon Dillon.
Barr (knee) and Darrisaw (groin) were ruled out on Friday. Nick Vigil and Rashod Hill will start.
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