One Step Closer To 53: Vikings Cut Down To 80

August 24, 2022
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While the official 53-man rosters aren’t due until next Tuesday, the Vikings need to cut down to 80 by the end of Tuesday, August 23rd. WR Albert Wilson and DT Jullian Taylor had already been waived, and with the acquisition of QB Nick Mullens, the Vikings entered Tuesday at 84 players.

Roster Cuts

The two notable players cut were CB Harrison Hand and TE Shaun Beyer. Both players fell victim to crowded position rooms. Hand has logged 23 games with the Vikings since being drafted in 2020, but has not done enough to solidify a spot that now has good depth. The Vikings drafted CBs Andrew Booth, Jr. and Akayleb Evans, in hopes to build on these players as depth options behind Patrick Peterson and Cam Dantzler.

Meanwhile, as my colleague Eli Kuphal predicted, TE Shaun Beyer was not surprising as a cut. After Irv Smith, Jr., the Vikings are still looking at Johnny Mundt, Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson, and Nick Muse vying for roster spots. Beyer was signed this summer as a free agent, and will hope to find opportunities elsewhere.

The PUP List

The other two moves today were LB Ryan Connelly and WR Blake Proehl being put on the PUP list. Both players came into the off-season rehabbing injuries already, so this move allows the Vikings to cut down to 80 players without waiving players they want to see on Saturday against Denver.

Both Connelly and Proehl are on the Reserve/PUP list, which means they will be out for at least the first four games of the season.

A Look Ahead

The title of this article mentions that the Vikings are one step closer to finalizing their roster. While I technically spoke the truth, this was a small cut down for the Vikes. The big one will come after our last preseason game this Saturday.

To state the obvious, there are a lot of guys still fighting for spots. This is the part of the preseason that I do not like. I have watched most of the action thus far, and while I know that most of the players are backups, it doesn’t stop me from picking out my favorites. So, allow me to share a few with you. I thought about predicting the whole 53, but I’m not sure I have enough insider information for that. Instead, I’ll give you one or two guys from key position battles that I would hate to see cut.

https://www.pntrac.com/t/4-481235-279750-55814

My Offensive Wishlist

RB: C.J. Ham and Ty Chandler. If you read my C.J. Ham appreciation article, you know that I feel he is a big piece of our offense. But I can recognize that many may not see the need for a fullback to be rostered. Regardless, he should stay. Also, the Vikings should not cut Ty Chandler. I know he is last on the senority list behind Kene Nwangwu, but he looks like he has “it.” It wasn’t just that Chandler had a great preseason performance, it was moreso that he passed my eye test.

WR: Trishton Jackson. He’s still trying to make an appearance in an NFL game, and he definitely faces an uphill battle. To me, I like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Olabisi Johnson as locks to make the team. The sixth WR in my opinion will be Dan Chisena for his special teams contributions. That means the Vikings are going to have to cut at least one, if not two, of the Jalen Nailor, Myron Mitchell, Trishton Jackson group. Even though he was a late-round pick, Nailor is a rookie that the Vikings may want to see develop. Mitchell has had a good preseason. I am finding it hard to see a path for Jackson to make the regular season roster, and that makes me sad.

10 offensive linemen. I cannot overstate how important depth is on the offensive line. I think we have a good starting five in Darrisaw, Ingram, Bradbury, Davis, and O’Neill. I realize that Bradbury has struggled, though, and that Ingram and Davis aren’t necessarily locks to start. Either way, assuming we keep Ezra Cleveland and Wyatt Davis for guard depth, we should also keep Austin Schlottman for center depth, and also Chris Reed for a versatile G/C guy. If you’re keeping track, that’s nine offensive linemen. The tenth? I don’t particularly care; we just need the depth. I would caution against Oli Udo, though, as he really struggled last year.

My Defensive Wishlist

Defensive line: T.Y. McGill and Jaylen Twyman. McGill has torn it up this preseason. It would be an overreaction to say that he’s going to lead the league in sacks, but to me he has done more than enough for a roster spot. Twyman’s story is a great comeback story. He was shot after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he’s back with a great attitude to show what he can do. I think we have to give him that shot.

LB: Brian Asamoah and Patrick Jones II. I don’t even think Asamoah is in danger of getting cut, but he’s worthy of a mention here. He looks electric on the field, and I think he can really be an impact player in key situations for us this year. Patrick Jones has also looked lively, but I’ll admit I don’t know as much about him as I should. I’ll be keying in on him during the Denver game to hopefully confirm that I want him to make the team.

DB: Josh Metellus and Kris Boyd. Metellus has had some great moments this preseason, and I feel he has solidified himself as a top four safety on this squad. However, I’m not sure he’s completely safe. If not, he should be. Kris Boyd is a strange one for me. He has played in at least 10 games in our past three seasons, but I feel like he is starting to compete with youth. The Vikings drafted Andrew Booth, Jr. and Akayleb Evans to add depth, and now this cornerback room is a bit crowded. Assuming they keep those two draft picks along with Cameron Dantzler and Patrick Peterson, he will still need to fight for playing time and a roster spot with Chandon Sullivan.

Looking For The Obvious In Denver

There are only a couple things I’m really caring about on Saturday in Denver. Sure I want to see guys make plays and make the roster decisions tough. But honestly, I simply want

  1. No key injuries and
  2. Smart game management

Again, the obvious. We want the Vikings to exercise the best balance of game readiness and peak health for all involved. That isn’t too much to ask, is it? Let me know, @Jlime8 on Twitter, and be sure to hit up all of the great Stadium Rant content on Twitter as well.