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Former Vikings RB Ameer Abdullah Signing With Carolina Panthers

The Vikings no longer needed Abdullah because of rookie Kene Nwangwu coming off IR.

One day after the Vikings activated rookie running back Kene Nwangwu from injured reserve and released veteran Ameer Abdullah, the latter is expected to sign with the Carolina Panthers, per multiple reports.

It seemed like Abdullah might have been a candidate to stick around with the Vikings on the practice squad after bouncing between there and the active roster this season. But instead, he has a 53-man roster spot and an opportunity for playing time with the Panthers, whose starting running back (Christian McCaffrey) and punt returner (Alex Erickson) are banged up right now.

When the Vikings claimed Abdullah off of waivers from the Lions in November 2018, they probably didn't anticipate him lasting as long as he did in Minnesota. Over the past three seasons, the veteran always seemed to find a way onto the roster because of his special teams versatility and ability to fill in at running back in a pinch.

It was a good three-year run with the Vikings for the former Nebraska star and second-round pick. He played in 45 games with Minnesota, totaling 65 touches for 350 yards and three touchdowns on offense and returning 45 kickoffs at nearly 25 yards per return. Just last week, Abdullah had his longest kick return as a Viking with a crucial 45-yarder against the Panthers. He also contributed on other special teams units.

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Perhaps more important than his role on the field was his role off of it. Abdullah was one of the leaders of the Vikings' social justice committee and a respected voice in the locker room. His passion for creating meaningful change was on display numerous times over the past three years, including when he spoke on behalf of the Vikings' players about injustice after an August 2020 scrimmage at U.S. Bank Stadium.

With Nwangwu, the speedy fourth-round pick from Iowa State, now in the fold, the Vikings are set at both running back and kick returner. They've got Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Nwangwu, and A.J. Rose Jr. (practice squad) at RB, with Nwangwu and Ihmir Smith-Marsette at KR.

The Vikings have one open spot on their practice squad now.

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