Rookie second-round draft pick Mackensie Alexander has been placed on season-ending injured reserve and replaced on the active roster by practice squad running back C.J. Ham in a move that could be a sign that Adrian Peterson won’t play against the Packers at Lambeau Field on Saturday.
Alexander, who swaggered into town at the 54th overall pick, played 13 games with no starts, six tackles and one pass defense. He was drafted for depth purposes and is considered the heir apparent to Captain Munnerlyn at the nickel slot corner spot. He was on the injury report this week with an abdomen injury.
Ham joined the Vikings after a rookie camp tryout. He was signed to the practice squad after final cuts. The Minnesota native went to Duluth Denfeld High School and had 3,611 yards from scrimmage and 35 touchdowns in 43 games at Augustana College.
Peterson returned from injured reserve last week after missing 11 games because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. He played 12 snaps in the 34-6 loss to the Colts, injured his groin and did not practice this week.
If he doesn’t play Saturday and the Vikings are eliminated by either a loss or a win by Tampa Bay, Peterson wouldn’t be expected to play the season finale against the Bears. And with a contract that pays him $18 million in 2017 and can be voided with no salary cap hit, Peterson could have played his last game as a Viking.