Vikings Sign Linebacker Cale Garrett to Practice Squad

Will Ragatz

The Vikings have signed linebacker Cale Garrett to their practice squad, the team announced on Wednesday.

Garrett is a 22-year-old rookie out of Missouri who was originally signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent. He gives the team some additional depth at linebacker after their third major loss at that position. Anthony Barr suffered a season-ending pectoral injury last Sunday, Cameron Smith is out for the year while recovering from open-heart surgery, and Ben Gedeon seems unlikely to play at all in 2020 either.

Cale Garrett File

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  • Hometown: Kearney, MO
  • College: Missouri
  • Drafted: 2020 UDFA
  • NFL experience: None
  • Age: 22
  • Size: 6'1", 234
  • Career stats (NCAA): 41 games, 291 tackles, 26 TFLs, 5 sacks, 6 INT, 2 FR, 3 defensive touchdowns

Garrett earned a role right away at Missouri as a true freshman, recording 47 tackles and an interception in 2016. As a sophomore, he became a full-time starter and had 99 tackles, three sacks, and two more interceptions. Garrett was named a team captain as a junior and was included on PFF's All-SEC first team. Heading into his senior season, he was seen as an All-America candidate.

Garrett was living up to that billing to start the 2019 campaign. He had 16 tackles in the opener and stuffed the stat sheet with a sack, two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup in Week 2. He then went on a ridiculous three-game stretch with three interceptions and a fumble recovery, scoring a defensive touchdown in three consecutive games.

Unfortunately, a torn pectoral tendon ended his season after just five games.

Garrett received an invitation to the NFL combine, and while his 40-yard dash (4.92) time was slow, he excelled in the broad jump and the agility drills. After going undrafted, he spent training camp with the Titans.

While Garrett might be able to give the Vikings some intel about Tennessee ahead of this weekend's matchup, it doesn't seem like gamesmanship is the primary reason for adding him to the practice squad.

"Cale wasn’t here very long," said Titans coach Mike Vrabel on a Wednesday videoconference. "So I don’t know if he knew our defense well enough to tell the Vikings anything about our offense or calls or whatever. Maybe he knew a lot more than he put on. I don’t know."

The more likely reason for this move is just to give the Vikings a look at an intriguing linebacker who could potentially earn a role if he impresses.

The Vikings currently have five LBs on the active roster: Eric Kendricks, Eric Wilson, Troy Dye, Hardy Nickerson Jr., and Ryan Connelly. They also have Blake Lynch and now Garrett on the practice squad. Once the signing of former Bronco Todd Davis becomes official, that'll be eight total linebackers.

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