All 32 teams have practice squads. They are players that a team sees as having value, but players that need some refinement and polishing. Teams covet their practice squads because they often include players that a team wants to stash in hopes of developing.
When a team raids someone else's practice squad the only caveat is that the raiding team must place that player on the 53-man roster and he will count on the active roster for at least three weeks. Considering that the Vikings only have three games remaining in the 2013 season, making such a move doesn't have significant repercussions in the risk/reward category. In 2010 and 2011, the Vikings made a few such moves – placing an injured veteran on I.R. and using the open roster spot to snap up a player they liked prior to the draft but one who found his way on another roster.
For the practice squad players, it translates into at least three significant paychecks, but players have the right to turn down a practice squad raid and stay with the team they've been with all season.
Although fans may not have bought into it, the Vikings weren't officially eliminated from division title contention until Sunday. Now that they're out, Rick Spielman might start making similar moves. With no real reason to put players like Kyle Rudolph at risk, the Vikings placed him on injured reserve Monday and other injured players may soon follow.
It's a loophole in the rules that allows teams to snatch players from other teams without much additional compensation and something the Vikings have done in the past when they have been eliminated from playoff contention.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.