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Vikings sign DE Jonathan Bullard, waive DE Kenny Willekes

Some movement on the defensive front

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With OTAs starting to wrap up before mandatory mini-camp gets underway, the Minnesota Vikings have made some personnel changes along the defensive line.

The team has announced that they have signed veteran defensive end Jonathan Bullard to a one-year contract. In order to make room for him on the roster, the team waived defensive end Kenny Willekes with an injury designation.

Bullard was a third-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 2016 NFL Draft, and has appeared in 70 career NFL games with 16 starts. He spent his first three NFL seasons with Chicago and followed that up with stints with the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Atlanta Falcons.

(That’s a lot of birds.)

In his NFL career, Bullard has collected 113 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

With Willekes being waived with an injury designation, he would revert to the Vikings’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers. That would certainly be a bummer for a guy who performed pretty well when he finally got an opportunity in 2021. Willekes was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft but missed the entire season because of injury. He ended the 2021 season on a high note, collecting two sacks in the Vikings’ season-ending victory over Chicago. This could be a second lost season for Willekes in three years, though we don’t know the nature of his injury at the present time.