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Minnesota Vikings Roster Cuts: Kafka Trial Ends In Unemployment

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With the moves they've made recently, the Minnesota Vikings had to make one move by 3:00 PM Central to get to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit, and they've made that move by releasing the odd man out on the quarterback depth chart.

The team has announced that they have released quarterback Mike Kafka. The team had signed Kafka (and defensive end Caesar Rayford) following this year's first-ever Veteran Combine, but they have now both been released in the first round of cuts.

Kafka got a lot of work in the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 7-of-10 attempts for 66 yards and a 34-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt. However, over the next three games he attempted just three passes, including not playing at all against Tampa Bay and going 0-for-1 on Saturday night against Dallas.

So, this means that undrafted rookie Taylor Heinicke has won the battle to be the #3 quarterback on the depth chart for the Vikings. Does that mean that he's going to make the final 53-man roster? He's likely going to get a very extended audition on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans to prove that he should.

UPDATE: Kafka was released with an injury designation, as he apparently suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday night against Dallas. In that context, his being replaced by Heinicke after throwing only one pass makes sense. If he passes through waivers, the team will likely place him on injured reserve.