Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Vikings Insider: It's time for some roster roulette

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 28, 2012 - 6:47 AM

And the cuts will keep coming ...

The Vikings trimmed their roster from 90 players to 75 Saturday with no surprise casualties. But by Friday, at least 22 more players will be gone as the organization assembles its 53-man roster.

With that in mind, we explore three questions General Manager Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier will be sorting through before then.

How many players from the 10-man 2012 draft class will stick around?

Receiver Greg Childs, one of three players taken in the fourth round, will spend the season on injured reserve after injuring both knees in a training camp scrimmage. As for the other nine drafted rookies? First-rounders Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith will be opening-day starters. Josh Robinson, Jarius Wright, Rhett Ellison and Blair Walsh are also locks to make the roster. So that leaves safety Robert Blanton, linebacker Audie Cole and defensive tackle Trevor Guyton sweating things out.

Blanton, a fifth-round pick, hasn't played in three preseason games but will see extensive action Thursday in Houston. The Vikings certainly wish he was further along in his development but are also highly unlikely to do anything rash with a promising player who they're putting through a conversion from cornerback to safety. He's as good as safe.

Cole's solid preseason, including two interception return touchdowns against Buffalo, gives him a better chance to make the team. If the Vikings keep six linebackers, the final two spots may come down to Cole, Tyrone McKenzie and Larry Dean, with a game of musical chairs ensuing this week.

Guyton struggled to adapt to the speed of the NFL, doesn't really project as a nose tackle and instead finds himself behind Christian Ballard in the quest to supply depth behind Kevin Williams at under tackle. Guyton could be the lone drafted rookie to get cut Friday.

It's also worth noting that seven undrafted rookies survived the first cut -- most notably cornerback Bobby Felder, who could, at the very least, find his way onto the practice squad.

What are the biggest questions in the secondary?

This will become a numbers game for Spielman and Frazier, who might be tempted to retain as many as 11 defensive backs. No one at Winter Park has forgotten the attrition of 2011 when starters Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook and Husain Abdullah, plus Tyrell Johnson, were all lost for the season at some point. That left the Vikings to hold the secondary together with chicken wire and bubble gum. (Remember those desperation acquisitions of Benny Sapp and Jarrad Page? Remember that starting cornerback trio of Asher Allen, Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton on Christmas Eve?)

In a pass-happy division, the Vikings can ill afford to be caught too thin in the defensive backfield.

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams was asked how many defensive backs he'd like to keep.

"Twenty," he joked before later adding, "with this being a passing league, you can never have too many."

If the Vikings opt to keep five safeties, Andrew Sendejo and Eric Frampton will be in a battle to be the final safety to join Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond and Blanton.

The conversation will be a bit complicated at corner. The top four there are Winfield, Cook, Chris Carr and Robinson. Veteran Zack Bowman might also be kept around given his experience and special teams value. But then that leaves a heated competition among Sherels, Burton, Reggie Jones and Felder for one or possibly two roster spots.

Sherels' reliability as a punt returner would be his ticket to sticking around. The Vikings are yet to feel secure with other options there.

"I'm not ready to throw Marcus away," special teams coach Mike Priefer said.

In the Vikings' quest to make significant strides forward, the assurance of quality secondary depth might be the second-most important piece of the puzzle behind only Christian Ponder's second year growth.

Who will be the Vikings' No. 3 running back? And does it really matter?

Let's face it, rebuilding projects aren't typically boosted much by a team's third running back. But in the Vikings' case, when it's still a major unknown how explosive top back Adrian Peterson can be in 2012, that depth in the running back stable takes on far greater importance.

So who will join Peterson and Toby Gerhart on the opening day roster? When training camp began, it seemed to be a race between Lex Hilliard and Jordan Todman. But Hilliard hasn't stood out and hurt his cause Friday by losing a fumble on one of his two carries. And Todman, because of a lingering ankle sprain, has missed a lot of practice time and has only two carries in three preseason games.

That's opened the door for Matt Asiata, who's more of a fullback but has rushed for 91 yards on 16 carries the past two games.

Todman, as healthy as he's been since training camp began, should see extensive action in Houston.

But on Sunday, Frazier also hinted the Vikings will be keeping a "Help Wanted" sign posted, potentially looking to scour the waiver wire for another backfield option.

"We'll see what happens on Thursday night," Frazier said.

"Hopefully somebody will take the bull by the horns and really separate themselves and say, 'This is my position. This is my job on this football team.'"

Dan Wiederer • dan.wiederer@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: Access Vikings: Who will make the team?

    Wednesday August 29, 2012

    Star Tribune reporters Dan Wiederer and Mark Craig discuss who the Vikings should keep on their 53-man roster.

  • Peterson sees first contact in practice

    Monday August 27, 2012

    Vikings running back takes another step in his recovery from knee surgery

  • Souhan: Vikings making a big mistake

    Monday August 27, 2012

    Vikings shouldn't rest their starters for this week's final preseason game against Houston.

  • The ability to return punts gives cornerback Marcus Sherels (35) an edge in keeping a roster spot.

  • VIKINGS PRESEASON

    Up next: 6 p.m. Thursday at

    Houston • TV: Ch. 11

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 7 3rd Qtr 10:52
San Francisco 28
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 114 FINAL
New Orleans 88
Utah 86 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Atlanta 104 FINAL
Houston 97
San Antonio 77 4th Qtr
Dallas 75
Indiana 37 3rd Qtr 8:55
Denver 40
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
Buffalo 1
Philadelphia 7 FINAL
Toronto 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Montreal 4
Washington 4 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Florida 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Chicago 2 FINAL(SO)
Columbus 3
Nashville 4 3rd Prd 13:58
Minnesota 3
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
UMBC 66 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 77
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
UCLA 44 FINAL
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 83 FINAL
Drake 54
Wake Forest 50 FINAL
Florida 63
High Point 80 FINAL
James Madison 71
Texas Southern 71 FINAL
Michigan State 64
New Hampshire 60 FINAL
Sacred Heart 73
Northeastern 78 FINAL
Santa Clara 72
Huston-Tillotson 56 FINAL
Texas State 90
Purdue 63 FINAL
Notre Dame 94
Prairie View 44 FINAL
Sam Houston St 61
Xavier 88 FINAL
Auburn 89
Bluffton 53 FINAL
Akron 92
NJIT 84 FINAL
Central Conn St 76
Hofstra 77 FINAL
Columbia 82
Boston Univ 62 FINAL
Dayton 78
Iona 81 FINAL
George Mason 86
Valparaiso 75 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 72
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
Kansas State 71
Morgan State 69 FINAL
Manhattan 73
Saint Josephs 75 FINAL
Marist 58
East Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 66
Richmond 65 FINAL
Pepperdine 63
La Salle 67 FINAL
Towson 53
Incarnate Word 110 FINAL
UMKC 104
CS-Bakersfield 59 FINAL
Idaho State 50
Iowa 44 FINAL
Northern Iowa 56
Milwaukee 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 61
Long Beach State 68 FINAL
Texas 78
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
TCU 88
SE Missouri St 54 2nd Half 5:34
Arkansas 71
Lehigh 50 2nd Half 11:05
Arizona State 38
New Mexico 37 2nd Half 16:34
New Mexico St 26
Oklahoma 40 2nd Half 15:26
Washington 46
Utah Valley U 40 2nd Half 13:20
Weber State 48
Jacksonville St 43 2nd Half 11:50
Northern Colorado 44
St Edwards 45 2nd Half 12:24
Grand Canyon 54
NC State 20 1st Half 4:04
West Virginia 30
TX A&M-CC 6 1st Half 10:32
CS-Northridge 9
Cal Poly 10 1st Half 11:36
Gonzaga 7
Fresno State 8 1st Half 11:07
Pacific 9
Montana State 14 1st Half 11:52
Portland 14
Ball State 10 1st Half 12:57
San Diego St 13
South Dakota St 2 1st Half 14:19
Utah State 11
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 7 2nd Qtr 9:56
Bowling Green 14
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
FIU 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
UCF 57 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
UMKC 51
Louisiana Tech 52 FINAL
Utah 67
Southern Utah 51 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
Hawaii 85 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 76
San Jose St 62 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
San Diego State 54
Norfolk State 36 FINAL
East Carolina 65
Saint Peters 49 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 59
Arizona 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 72
Northwestern 92 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 44
Oral Roberts 52 FINAL
Wisconsin 70
Florida Atlantic 44 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
La Salle 76 FINAL
Georgia State 68
(16) Oregon State 73 FINAL
Nevada 50
Sacred Heart 72 FINAL
Villanova 49
Delaware 59 FINAL
Cincinnati 67
Troy 75 FINAL
Tennessee St 71
Saint Louis 68 FINAL
Utah Valley U 66
Washington 74 FINAL
UC-Riverside 71
Pacific 43 FINAL
Long Beach St 53
Old Dominion 69 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 63
Austin Peay 19 1st Half 4:29
Montana 27
Lewis-Clark State 2 1st Half 12:51
Idaho 17
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday against Miami?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close