The Vikings waived running back Roc Thomas, who was suspended last week for three games without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Former South Dakota State guard Tiano Pupungatoa was signed to replace him on the 90-man roster.
Thomas, 23, was sentenced to three years’ probation in May after pleading guilty to a felony charge of marijuana possession. Undrafted out of Jacksonville State, Thomas earned a Vikings roster spot in his first preseason last summer and was active for five games in the regular season, taking eight carries for 30 yards and two catches for 21 yards.
Pupungatoa, listed at 6-3 and 299 pounds, joins the Vikings interior line mix after trying out during May’s rookie minicamp. The River Falls, Wis., native was a three-year starter at left guard for the Jackrabbits and was an FCS third-team All-America pick.
Rookie to wear two uniforms
Austin Cutting will fulfill his two-year commitment to the Air Force while playing with the Vikings.
Agent Darren Deloatche said Cutting, an Air Force Academy graduate who was a seventh-round pick, will be stationed in Minnesota and will begin practice with the Vikings when rookies start training camp on Tuesday.
The long snapper signed a four-year deal worth up to $2.4 million. The Vikings now have all 12 draft picks under contract.
Cutting is not deferring his service. He has been given the title of first-year recruiting lieutenant and will help the Air Force recruit in areas they’ve historically struggled while stationed in Minnesota, according to Deloatche. For now, they’ve told Cutting his main focus can be the NFL.