Vikings: Focus on the 53-man roster

Much of Saturday was spent on those who were cut. We look at those were kept and the shape of the Minnesota Vikings’ roster now.

Much of the news that came out Saturday for the Minnesota Vikings and the rest of the NFL was centered on who got released. What seemed to get missed was who made rosters that were viewed as bubble players.

With the addition of one player – the Vikings swung a trade with San Diego for offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles – here is the full 53-man roster currently in place for the Vikings:

Quarterbacks (3) – Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill, Taylor Heinicke

Running Backs (4) – Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata, Zach Line

Wide Receivers (6) – Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs

Tight Ends (4) – Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison, Chase Ford, MyCole Pruitt

Offensive Line (9) – Matt Kalil, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Mike Harris, T.J. Clemmings, Joe Berger, Austin Shepherd, Jeremiah Sirles, Zac Kerin

Defensive Linemen (9) – Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd, Brian Robison, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Justin Trattou, Scott Crichton, Danielle Hunter

Linebackers (6) – Anthony Barr, Chad Greenway, Eric Kendricks, Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges, Edmond Robinson

Defensive Backs (9) – Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Terence Newman, Robert Blanton, Captain Munnerlyn, Trae Waynes, Andrew Sendejo, Antone Exum, Marcus Sherels

Specialists (3) – Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke, Kevin McDermott

There was some question as to whether the Vikings would join a growing trend around the league of keeping just two quarterbacks on the active roster. After a strong preseason showing by undrafted rookie Heinicke, the Vikings opted to keep him, leaving with three QBs on the roster.

There was some questions as to whether the Vikings would keep a fullback as one of their roster spots. They did, keeping Line to be the plow in front of Peterson.

There was some speculation as to whether the Vikings would keep six wide receivers or five. The question was answered Thursday night when the team made Thielen a healthy scratch, giving the impression then that he was no longer on the bubble. In some ways, the Vikings ended up keeping 10 receivers, as they opted to stick with all four of the tight ends they had left after the initial cut-downs.

Offensive line remains a question mark, but the team spoke volumes by cutting sixth-round rookie Tyrus Thompson and second-year man David Yankey, who proved little in his 18 months as a Viking. Depth remains a concern, but not enough that the Vikings would invest a 10th roster spot to the position. At least not yet. They may look to add another in the near future.

There were very few surprises on defense. The Vikings have a deep defensive line and those nine spots could have been accurately predicted a month ago. At linebacker, Michael Mauti and Brandon Watts didn’t do anything to lose their jobs, but the ascent of Edmond Robinson and the drafting of Kendricks made them expendable.

Everyone knows Mike Zimmer loves his defensive backs and the Vikings likely have as much depth here as they have had in years. None of the nine players they kept were a surprise and the list doesn’t included Josh Robinson, who is on the physically unable to perform list, and Jabari Price, who will start serving his time on the reserve/suspended list.

In all, the Vikings kept 26 offense players, 24 defensive players and three specialists. As they compile their practice squad, which will begin being announced in part or in full tomorrow, we may see several of the players cut today returning.

As always, with the veteran cuts that have been made elsewhere, some small tweaks may be made to the rosters, but this is the group the Vikings are heading into battle with and, when it came down to it, there weren’t too many surprises as to who stayed and who was sent packing.

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