The Vikings re-signed defensive end Everson Griffen on Wednesday, a day after making him one of their final cuts to set their initial 53-man roster.
The team also signed 14 players to their practice squad, but quarterback Jake Browning was not one of them. His rise from 2019-20 practice squad player to first crack at the 2021 No. 2 job quickly fizzled during a dismal preseason performance.
Griffen, the 12-year veteran who had 74 ½ sacks as a Viking in his first 10 seasons, initially rejoined the team on Aug. 23 after he spent last season with the Cowboys and Lions. Cutting him on Tuesday appears to have been a largely procedural move as the team shuffled players around available roster spots.
The Vikings released punter Britton Colquitt on Wednesday, a move that also appears to be procedural. He is expected to be back on the team soon, according to a league source.
Added to the practice squad were running back Ameer Abdullah, last year's kickoff returner; guard Dakota Dozier, a 16-game starter last year; offensive tackle Zack Bailey; fullback Jake Bargas; linebacker Tuf Borland; tight end Zach Davidson; guard Kyle Hinton; running back A.J. Rose Jr.; defensive end Kenny Willekes; safety Myles Dorn; receivers Myron Mitchell and Whop Philyor; and cornerbacks Parry Nickerson and Tye Smith.
The Vikings also re-signed long snapper Anthony DePaola and waived defensive end Jalyn Holmes to make room for tight end Ben Ellefson, a North Dakota State and Hawley High (Minn.) product claimed off waivers from the Jaguars.
Zimmer applauded the NFL for increasing practice squad spots and opening them up to players of all experience levels a year ago.
"I think it helps a lot," he said. "It helps to take some of the reps off some of the other guys. Then being able to flex guys [onto the active roster without exposing them to waivers] on game days is important. I wish it was more than just two times. It's a start."
Nothing final about 53, yet
After the final cutdown day to 53-man rosters, teams continue to jockey for players a week before the regular season begins.
"Everything is fluid," Zimmer said Wednesday. "So what you see right now probably isn't going to be the ending roster."
Case in point, potentially, is rookie Kellen Mond serving as the No. 2 quarterback and only backup to starter Kirk Cousins.
Asked if he's comfortable with Mond being the No. 2 QB, Zimmer said, "Um, right now. We'll see what happens in the next few days. Like I said, everything is very fluid."
Zimmer also said Mond has made strides since returning from his bout with COVID-19 early in training camp.
"I think he's gotten better the last two or three games," Zimmer said. "He's doing a good job with the playbook. Made some good throws. Made some mistakes like most rookies do. We'll see. We have to keep getting him better."
Sean Mannion, the Vikings' backup last season, was released by the Seahawks on Wednesday, and Minnesota is interested in bringing him back, a league source said.
Seven don't practice
Not practicing Wednesday were left tackle Christian Darrisaw, linebacker Anthony Barr, receiver Dan Chisena, safety Josh Metellus, running backs Alexander Mattison and Kene Nwangwu, and tight end Irv Smith Jr., who had knee surgery to repair a meniscus.
Smith, Nwangwu and Chisena were placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Players can return from I.R. after missing three games.
Conklin told to 'go get paid'
One guy now practicing with an extra sense of urgency and renewed expectations is Tyler Conklin, last year's No. 3 tight end who now presumably moves to No. 1.
"Obviously, you don't want injuries to happen," he said. "But for me, it's an opportunity I've been waiting for a long, long time. I'm extremely ready and extremely excited about this opportunity."
He also said he's healthy again after a hamstring injury kept him from playing in the preseason.
One of Conklin's biggest fans right now apparently is Irv Smith Jr., who texted Conklin after learning that his surgery was likely season-ending.
And what did the text say?
"Good luck. Go get paid," Conklin said.