The Vikings have signed veteran tight end Luke Stocker to their practice squad, the team announced on Wednesday. To make room, offensive lineman Zack Bailey was released.
Stocker, 33, is an 11-year veteran known for his blocking ability. The 6'5", 253-pounder has played tight end, fullback, and on various special teams units throughout his career.
Current Vikings blocking tight end Ben Ellefson had a rough game against the Lions on Sunday, dropping a pass and allowing a sack. He also missed practice on Wednesday with a knee injury, so adding Stocker gives the Vikings some additional depth in case they need another TE.
Stocker played college football at Tennessee and was drafted in the fourth round back in 2011 by the Buccaneers. He spent his first seven seasons in Tampa and has played for the Titans and Falcons since then. He spent training camp this year with the Titans but was released prior to the start of the season.
In his ten-year career, Stocker has played in 130 games with 83 catches, 693 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. But the Vikings aren't bringing him in because of his ability as a receiver. He simply provides some depth behind Ellefson as an experienced player who could be called upon for a handful of snaps as a blocker if needed.
Here's a look at the Vikings' current depth chart at tight end:
- Tyler Conklin
- Ben Ellefson
- Chris Herndon
- Brandon Dillon
- Luke Stocker
The Vikings protected Dillon on the practice squad this week, which could be another indication that they don't feel great about their current backups in Ellefson and Herndon.
In other recent roster news, the Vikings re-signed special teams gunner Dan Chisena to the active roster. They're now up to 52 out of 53 players, but may have to make room for Cameron Dantzler (Reserve/COVID), Harrison Hand (Reserve/COVID), and Kene Nwangwu (IR — Designated to Return) soon.
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