Vikings Rumors

Practice Squad Updates: 10/16/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: OL Jake Eldrenkamp, WR Blake Jackson

Green Bay Packers

  • Cut: WR DeAngelo Yancey

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vikings To Place Mike Hughes On IR

The Vikings feared their first-round pick tore an ACL on Sunday, and subsequent tests confirmed those fears.

Mike Hughes will be placed on IR and miss the rest of the season, Mike Zimmer said Monday. Hughes went down during Minnesota’s Week 6 victory over Arizona and will now be rehabbing toward a goal of being ready in time for the 2019 season.

The late-first-round selection started two games for the Vikings and represented the latest major investment at cornerback, joining Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. The latter three remain healthy for the now 3-2-1 Vikings, whose depth at corner will be tested.

Pro Football Focus graded Hughes’ abbreviated season as a mid-level effort, placing the Central Florida product as the league’s No. 68 corner through six games. He did deliver some early production, intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown. He forced and recovered a fumble, deflected three passes and made 39 tackles.

Hughes’ rookie contract runs through the 2021 season, with a fifth-year option in place for 2022. The Vikings also have return man Marcus Sherels on the roster, but he hasn’t played on defense this season. Rookie UDFA Holton Hill‘s seen 21 snaps and is likely set for an increase in responsibility.

Vikings Fear CB Mike Hughes Has Torn ACL

The Viking believe rookie cornerback Mike Hughes suffered a torn ACL against the Cardinals, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). Hughes will undergo an MRI on Monday to confirm the preliminary diagnosis.

Hughes, 21, was the Vikings’ first-round pick (No. 30 overall) in the 2018 draft, but he’s played starter’s snaps despite Minnesota head coach’s Mike Zimmer‘s usual reticence to deploy rookies. Hughes has played primarily in the slot for the Vikings, but he’s also been asked to play outside while fellow corner Trae Waynes deals with injury.

All in all, Hughes has played like a slightly-below average cornerback during his rookie campaign. Pro Football Focus grades Hughes as the No. 69 corner among 119 qualifiers, while he ranks 35th among 66 qualifiers in Football Outsiders’ success rate, which measures cornerbacks’ ability to stop opposing receivers short of the sticks. FO also charts Hughes with allowing 9.1 yards per pass, good for 48th among corners.

If Hughes is indeed out for the year, the Vikings will turn to Mackensie Alexander to man the slot, while Holton Hill could conceivably also see more snaps. Jalen Myrick is the only corner on Minnesota’s practice squad, and he could be a candidate to be promoted to the active roster. If the Vikings want to look at the free agent market, they could look at options such as David Amerson, Tony Lippett, Jeremy Lane, or Sterling Moore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Everson Griffen Not Expected To Return Anytime Soon

Vikings Activate LB Kentrell Brothers

Kentrell Brothers is back. The team announced that they’ve activated the linebacker from the exempt list. To make room on the roster, the team waived offensive guard Bryan Witzmann.

Brothers, 25, was handed a four-game suspension back in April for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. The 2016 fifth-round pick accepted the punishment, saying he was unaware that the unnamed substance was banned.

“While it was not my intention to violate any league policies, I understand that it is up to me to be aware of what goes in my body, and I take full responsibility for that,” Brothers said. “I sincerely apologize to the Vikings organization, my teammates and our fans for my mistake. I take my job as a professional seriously and will continue to support my teammates during this time.”

The linebacker was allowed to participate in the Vikings’ entire offseason program, including preseason practices and games.

While Brothers will slide behind Eric Kendricks and Devante Downs on the middle linebacker depth chart, he’ll still earn playing time due to his special teams prowess. He only played eight defensive snaps in 2018, earning the majority of his 13 tackles on special teams. He’ll be joining a Vikings grouping that’s allowed the lowest kickoff return average in the NFL (15.3 yards). The team is also tied for sixth for the lowest punt return average (5.2 yards).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/2/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • T Andrew Nelson (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/1/18

Here are the latest practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson
  • Placed on practice squad injured-reserve: WR Jester Weah

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: DL Jonathan Wynn
  • Cut: LB Garret Dooley

New York Jets