After a preseason game Saturday left the Vikings dealing with a slew of injuries, their first order of business Monday was to clear four injured players off their 90-man roster, while holding another nine out of practice.
The team placed defensive end Ade Aruna on injured reserve after the sixth-round pick tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Saturday’s loss to Jacksonville. The Vikings put offensive lineman Cedrick Lang, tight end Josiah Price and fullback Johnny Stanton on the waived/injured list, signing former Gophers fullback Kobe McCrary and ex-Oakland guard Kareem Are to fill two of their open roster spots.
McCrary, who joined the Vikings for practice Monday, had tried out for the team during its rookie camp in May. He had returned to his hometown in Florida, taking a job filling bed comforters with stuffing. He said he would get off work at 3:30 p.m. each day, and head home to work out in an effort to keep himself in shape in case an NFL team called.
In addition to the players the Vikings removed from their roster, they kept nine out of practice Monday. Cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who injured his left ankle Saturday, went through rehab with his foot in a walking boot. Coach Mike Zimmer said he expects Alexander’s injury to be a short-term issue, but added, “Everybody is different, so I really don’t know.”
Defensive end Everson Griffen remained out after slicing his leg on the end of a table last week, while wide receiver Jeff Badet remained in the NFL concussion protocol. Wide receiver Stacy Coley, running back Mack Brown, offensive lineman Curtis Cothran, linebacker Kentrell Brothers and defensive backs Horace Richardson and Jack Tocho also sat out.
Guard Mike Remmers and tackle Rashod Hill returned to individual drills Monday, but did not take part in 11-on-11 work, where Aviante Collins and Brian O’Neill took snaps with the first-team offense at right tackle.
Happy for Peterson
News broke during afternoon practice that Adrian Peterson had signed with Washington, landing with his third team since parting ways with the Vikings in 2017.
Only a handful of players on the current Vikings roster spent more than a season or two with Peterson when he was still one of the NFL’s dominant players, but defensive end Brian Robison — who came into the league with Peterson as part of the Vikings’ 2007 draft class — wished the 2012 NFL MVP well with the Redskins.
“I think he’s a great person that obviously is going to go down as one of the best running backs to play this game,” Robison said. “I’m happy for him.”
Boosting the line
While the Vikings offensive line remained in flux Monday, it’s possible help could be on the way in the form of the team’s starting center.
Zimmer said Saturday that Pat Elflein, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he rehabs from offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries, could be back at practice in the near future.
If the Vikings are able to get Elflein back in the preseason — when the center has yet to work with new quarterback Kirk Cousins or left guard Tom Compton — it could help their starting five build some continuity before the start of the season. Elflein’s athletic ability, too, would be a big boost to the line, Zimmer said.
“I think the quickness that he has in there will be really important for some of the plays that we’re trying to run,” Zimmer said. “He can reach a guy that’s shaded to the side that he’s trying to get to with his quickness. Obviously he has very, very few mental errors.”