Through the first three games of the season, the offensive side of the football really hasn’t been much of an issue for the Minnesota Vikings. However, they could be getting a serious boost on that side of the football here very shortly.
It sounds like #Vikings rookie RB Kene Nwangwu could return to practice as soon as Wednesday. He's missed the required 3 games on IR with hyperextended left knee. Once a player is designated for return off IR, a team has 21 days to activate him. Nwangwu did work on side last week— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) September 28, 2021
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, running back Kene Nwangwu could be back to practicing with the team as early as tomorrow.
Nwangwu was a part of the team’s 53-man roster coming out of Training Camp, but was then placed on Injured Reserve the day after the final cuts were made. By waiting until the day after the 53 was finalized, the Vikings reserved the right to allow Nwangwu to return from IR at some point during the season. Players that went on IR before the 53-man roster was finalized, such as Janarius Robinson, are ineligible to return during the regular season.
Nwangwu was one of the Vikings’ fourth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Iowa State. Though he has some potential as a backup running back, his primary purpose looked to be adding to the Vikings’ return game, which was among the league’s worst in 2020. He got an opportunity to return the first kickoff of the preseason and wound up suffering an injury on that play that cost him the rest of the preseason.
As Thomasson mentions in his tweet, if the Vikings do designate Nwangwu to return from IR, they have 21 days to add him to the active roster. If they do not do so during that time, he will revert back to IR and be done for the season.
Hopefully, Kene Nwangwu will get back on the field and get an opportunity to show what he can contribute to the Vikings this season, whether it’s as a part of the offense or as a returner. We should know more when the Vikings return to the practice field tomorrow to prepare for their Week 4 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.