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Vikings make flurry of moves to get roster to 80 players

Including the Everson Griffen signing

NFL: SEP 30 Bengals at Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the deadline to get their roster down to 80 players a little less than 24 hours away, the Minnesota Vikings made a flurry of moves on Monday afternoon to get themselves there. Let’s go over all of them here, shall we?

  • First, they formalized the signing of defensive end Everson Griffen that we talked about earlier today. Griffen was wearing #58 at practice today because the team doesn’t. . .or at least didn’t. . .have any numbers in the 90s available at the time and some guy named Michael Pierce already has #97. So, if you’re into jersey numbers, we’ll be keeping an eye on how all of that plays out.
  • In addition, the team added running back Ito Smith to the roster. Smith was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft (#126 overall) and spent his first three NFL seasons with Atlanta. He appeared in 35 games for the Falcons, amassing 689 yards and six touchdowns. He had signed with the Arizona Cardinals in early August but was waived a week ago.
  • The Vikings also placed rookie defensive end Janarius Robinson on injured reserve. Robinson was one of the Vikings’ fourth-round picks in this past April’s draft. I’m not sure when he suffered an injury, but his season is done. Because he went on injured reserve before the season started, he is not eligible to return, so we won’t see him again before 2022.
  • The purple also waived two players, letting go of linebacker Christian Elliss and quarterback Danny Etling. Etling was signed during the great quarterback plague of July early August and did not see action in either of the Vikings’ first two preseason games. Elliss, the son of former Lions’ defensive end Luther Elliss, played in both games and did little of note other than collecting a fine for a penalty he drew in the loss to the Denver Broncos.
  • The team also waived defensive tackle Jordan Scott, he of the deflected interception in last week’s loss to Indianapolis. Scott was waived with an injury designation (unlike Elliss and Etling), so if he does pass through waivers he will land on the team’s injured reserve list.
  • Last, but not least, the Vikings made the retirement of linebacker Cameron Smith official, placing him on the reserve/retired list.

So, with those moves, the Vikings have reduced their roster to 80. The big cutdown is a week from tomorrow when teams across the NFL will set their initial 53-man rosters for the 2021 NFL season.