The Vikings made a roster move Tuesday that did not involve a kicker.
The team waived tight end MyCole Pruitt to free a spot on the 53-man roster for quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who was on the non-football injury list since July.
Pruitt, 24, hasn’t played in the past three games after suffering his second knee injury of the year on Oct. 9 against the Texans. Pruitt had sprained his medial collateral ligament in his other knee during the preseason and didn’t debut this year until Oct. 3 against the Giants. He caught one pass for seven yards in 23 snaps on offense.
A 2015 fifth-round pick out of Southern Illinois, Pruitt was touted as a versatile blocking and receiving tight end by General Manager Rick Spielman and former offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who resigned last week. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie last season and caught 10 passes for 89 yards.
Tight ends have been used less in the Vikings offense this season, though the group has also been limited by a trio of knee injuries, including Pruitt’s. Rhett Ellison and David Morgan have also missed games due to knee injuries.
The Vikings had until Wednesday to decide on Heinicke’s roster spot as his three-week practice window was coming to a close on the reserve/NFI list. They activated him and now have three quarterbacks on the active roster for the first time this season.
Heinicke, 23, said Monday he’s been fully recovered for weeks after he severed two tendons in his left foot during an accident in early July. While trying to help a friend locked out of his apartment, Heinicke kicked in a glass pane to enter through a door. He returned to practice Oct. 19 and said he’s practiced the last three weeks without any setbacks.
The Vikings could use the depth at quarterback as Sam Bradford, who has been sacked 13 times in the last three losses, is flanked by veteran Shaun Hill in his 15th NFL season.
Heinicke joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2015 out of Old Dominion, where he became just the 18th quarterback in Division I history to throw for 10,000 career yards and run for another 1,000 yards.