Vikings Sign Two, Release Two

The Vikings were busy assembling part of their practice squad and signing two veterans to their active roster Sunday, which meant releasing two rookies.

The Vikings signed former Detroit Lions running back Artose Pinner, who was released by Detroit this weekend.

Pinner, who started six of 28 games during his four-year career with the Lions, was the second-leading rushing for Detroit in 2005 after gaining 349 yards. He also finished second among running backs with 21 catches.

The former fourth-round draft pick out of Kentucky has had solid performances against the Vikings, which might have contributed to his signing. Two of his three touchdowns in 2005 came against the Vikings, and he had 103 offensive yards (64 rushing and 39 receiving) on Dec. 4, 2005 against Minnesota.

The Vikings also signed defensive back Rashad Baker, who started three of 28 games he played during the last two seasons with Buffalo. All three of those starts came at safety. In addition to 53 career tackles on defense, he has two interceptions and a sack. He also has 19 special teams tackles.

To make room for Baker and Pinner on the 53-man roster, the Vikings released wide receiver Jason Carter and running back Wendell Mathis, both rookie free agents who would be eligible for the practice squad if they clear waivers.

The waiving of those two players, however, leaves the Vikings' return situation in question, as last year's main punt returner, Mewelde Moore, has missed the last three preseason game and Carter was the leading candidate to do that coming out of the preseason. Mathis had also been returning kicks this preseason, as the Vikings released Pro Bowl kick returner Koren Robinson in the first round of cuts after he was arrested for drunk driving during training camp.

The Vikings also signed five players to their practice squad – tight end Richard Angulo, cornerback Charles Gordon, wide receiver Martin Nance, tackle Donald Penn and defensive end Khreem Smith. All but Nance were with the Vikings this off-season, and the team worked out Nance and other wide receivers, including recently signed Todd Pinkston on Friday.

The Vikings have three spots remaining on their practice squad.

*According to a league source, Chris Liwienski, who was released by the Vikings on Saturday, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
* Defensive end DeQuincy Scott has agreed to terms with the Titans.
* The Vikings had offensive lineman Steve Edwards, cut by the Bears, in for a visit Sunday. His signing status is still undetermined.

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