Vikings Activate Blake Brandel From COVID List, Nevelle Clarke Cleared to Practice

Will Ragatz

The Vikings announced two roster moves on Friday. Rookie tackle Blake Brandel, one of eight players added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list over the past week, became the first player activated off of that list. Also, rookie cornerback Nevelle Clarke officially passed a physical and has been cleared for football activities after being on the Active/Non-Football Injury list.

The Brandel news is significant because he's the first Vikings player to get off of the newly-created COVID list. That means he was able to pass the protocols put in place by the NFL and the Vikings to get cleared to end his quarantine. The team isn't allowed to disclose whether Brandel or other players tested positive for the coronavirus or were exposed to an infected person, but based on the length of his stay on the list, it seems likely that Brandel didn't test positive.

Brandel can now begin training camp activities as he attempts to make the 53-man roster or practice squad. The sixth-round pick was an elite pass-protector at Oregon State but isn't overwhelmingly athletic.

The Vikings are now back to 79 players on the active roster, with defensive tackle Michael Pierce on the opt-out list and seven players still on the COVID list: Justin Jefferson, Brian Cole II, Tyler Higby, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Cameron Smith, and Oli Udoh.

Meanwhile, Clarke has also been cleared to get back to work. He was added to the NFI list with a hamstring injury, but passed a physical on Friday and is good to go. The undrafted free agent out of UCF faces an uphill battle to make the team, but he'll have the opportunity to earn a job in training camp. UDFA WR Quartney Davis remains on the NFI list.

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