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Jasper Brinkley, Injured Reserve, And You

Okay, so you won't be personally affected if/when Jasper Brinkley goes on IR. Unless you are in fact, one Mr. Jasper Brinkley.  And if you're reading this, JB, get well soon.

According to Mark Craig of the Strib, Brinkley had hip surgery tonight, and will almost certainly go on season ending injured reserve.  If he does, how might that affect the Vikings final roster makeup?

Well, we'll tell you, after the jump.  But you probably knew that already.

In the Vikes initial roster cuts, they released one LB, Kyle O'Donnell, leaving Larry Dean, Heath Farwell, Chad Greenway, E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson, David Herron, Ross Homan, and Kenny Onatolu still on the roster

Let's assume that Greenway, the two Hendersons, and Farwell are safe, for a total of four. Last year, the Vikings had a total of seven linebackers on the roster at the end of last season.  If that same number were to be assumed this year, then the Vikings would only cut one more guy and call it good.

But are there seven NFL-caliber linebackers on the roster, or would the Vikings run the risk of dropping to six and then plus up another weak area, like offensive line?

The good news is that the Vikings have a few days to figure it out, but the bad news is that they're fairly limited.  If they go thin at LB, they'll almost have to sign someone well into the season to cover an injury.  If they keep all the guys they currently have, they'll have a couple guys that probably aren't worthy of being on an NFL roster under normal circumstances, and if they're pressed into service, it could be ugly.

About all they can do is cut the guys they were planning to cut, and find a free agent who was cut by antoher team to bolster the depth. 

I would expect them to find a veteran sometime this weekend or the early part of next week.

I can't say that there are seven quality linebackers on the roster; if you count rookie Ross Homan...and since he's from Ohio State, you're damn right we're counting him...and David Herron, who was signed late in the pre-season, that gets you to six.  Onatolu has been hurt, so if you throw him in there that's seven.

And that's a weak linebacker corps once you get past the starters.