After setting their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday — which has already changed and will continue to be shuffled around — the Vikings turned their focus to signing players to their 16-man practice squad.
Players on the practice squad can be elevated to the active roster for a game up to twice in a season and can be signed to the active roster at any point. They can also be signed to other teams' active rosters during any week, unless they are protected by the Vikings (you can protect up to four players each week, something the Vikings frequently did with kicker Chase McLaughlin last season). Teams cannot sign a player from another team's practice squad just to put them on their own PS.
As the name suggests, these players continue to practice with the rest of the roster. It provides an opportunity for young players to develop without taking up a 53-man roster spot. The rules changed last year to expand the practice squad from 10 to 16 and to allow up to six veteran players on the PS, which gives teams additional depth and flexibility in the case of injuries or a COVID situation,
So far, we know about 14 players who have signed to the Vikings' practice squad, meaning there are two spots left. These were announced by the team on Wednesday afternoon.
- RB Ameer Abdullah (acquired by Vikings on waivers in 2018)
- RB A.J. Rose Jr. (2021 UDFA)
- FB Jake Bargas (2020 UDFA)
- TE Zach Davidson (2021 fifth-round pick)
- G Dakota Dozier (signed as FA in 2019)
- G Kyle Hinton (2020 seventh-round pick)
- T Zack Bailey (signed off Tampa Bay's practice squad in 2020)
- WR Myron Mitchell (2021 UDFA)
- WR Whop Philyor (2021 UDFA)
- DE Kenny Willekes (2020 seventh-round pick)
- LB Tuf Borland (2021 UDFA)
- S Myles Dorn (2020 UDFA)
- CB Parry Nickerson (signed as FA in 2021)
- CB Tye Smith (signed as FA in 2021)
- Abdullah, Dozier, and Smith are all veterans who have been in the league for at least six seasons. Prior to last season's rule changes, they wouldn't have been eligible for the practice squad.
- There were initial reports that QB Jake Browning and DE Hercules Mata'afa would be on the practice squad, but things changed. The Vikings are now expected to bring back Sean Mannion, who was waived by the Seahawks. He'll take Browning's job, though it's unclear whether he'll be on the practice squad or active roster.
- 9 of these 14 play on the offensive side of the ball, which is interesting.
- Rose, Willekes, and Smith all had strong preseasons for the Vikings.
- It could make sense to add a kicker with one of the two remaining spots.
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