On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings declared that one of their new additions would not be fully ready for the start of Training Camp after all.
The team has announced that cornerback Nate Hairston has been placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list, meaning that he will be working from the sidelines when practices officially get underway. The team did not give any reason for the designation.
Hairston was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but has bounced around the league a little bit, most recently spending two seasons with Ed Donatell and the Denver Broncos. The Vikings signed Hairston back in March, and while he might have an opportunity to make an impact on defense because of his familiarity with Donatell’s scheme, he was primarily a special teamer in Denver. If he’s going to attempt to climb beyond that, he’s going to start out behind the 8-ball.
The difference between the Non-Football Injury list and the Physically Unable to Perform list is that the PUP List is for players that got injured on the field or in practice or doing other things relating to football, while the NFI list is for players that. . .well, got hurt doing non-football things. There’s also a matter of liability and potential contractual issues, but I’m going to guess that’s not going to come into play here.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell declared that Hairston, Ryan Connelly, and Blake Proehl are the only three Vikings that are going to miss out on the start of camp. He specifically singled out wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette along with tight ends Irv Smith Jr. and Johnny Mundt as players that were ready to go. Smith-Marsette spent the end portion of the offseason program in a walking boot with a lower leg injury, while Mundt is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered last October.
That should just about do it for pre-Training Camp roster moves, from the looks of things. If anything else does happen before things get underway in Eagan, we will definitely let you know.