Minnesota Vikings trimming roster toward 75

The Minnesota Vikings are getting closer to the mandated roster limit of 75 on Tuesday in advance of the deadline and in advance of their only practice for the final preseason game.

The Minnesota Vikings trimmed their roster from 89 to 80, and need to be down to the required 75 players in advance of Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline to do so.

The Vikings began the process of informing the players they released on Monday, but it became official Tuesday morning with the announcement that they released DE Theiren Cockran, G Sean Hickey, TE Brian Leonhardt, DE Claudell Louis, WR Marken Michel, LB Terrance Plummer, G Austin Shepherd, WR Terrell Sinkfield and QB Brad Sorensen.

That brings the roster to 80 players with five more roster moves needed by 3 p.m.

“(Cut day) will not be a real fun day because all these guys have come in and busted their rear ends. The good thing is I think we have some good football players. There’s going to be an opportunity for them to go somewhere else and play,” head coach Mike Zimmer said after Sunday’s win.

With the Vikings improving the overall talent on their roster since Zimmer arrived, he believes some of the players that are released will find new opportunities, pointing to Justin Trattou’s NFL journey.

After almost three years with the New York Giants, including 2012 on injured reserve, Trattou joined the Vikings in 2014 and spent most of the season on their practice squad. Last year, he saw action in five games and tied for the team lead with two interceptions from his defensive end position.

“He got an opportunity to play down the (stretch of the 2015) season and now he has a nice day again (Sunday),” Zimmer said. “Those kind of guys are great success stories that just continue to believe in their goals and their dreams. It may not be with us, but they’re good guys and they work hard. Hopefully when they leave here we have taught them something about the game of football, about how to be a teammate or techniques, how to play, different things.”  

The Vikings play their final preseason game Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams, then NFL teams have to trim their roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. Saturday.

In addition, the Vikings could keep QB Taylor Heinicke on the reserve/non-football injury list and OL Mike Harris on the reserve/non-football illness list.

The deadline for claiming players on waivers that are added to a team’s 53-man roster is at 11 a.m. Central on Sunday. At noon on Sunday, teams can begin assembling their practice squad of up to 10 players.

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