The preseason games are in the books and all the impressions that are going to be made have been made. Over the next couple of days, the 91 men that currently comprise the Minnesota Vikings roster will be whittled down to 53 for the start of the 2023 regular season. We want to make sure everyone knows how the timing of things for the next few days is going to work, so here’s an outline of everything.
The Vikings (and the 31 other NFL teams that we don’t care as much about) need to have their 53-man rosters submitted by 3:00 PM Central on Tuesday, 29 August. One important thing that I want to point out about this deadline involves the Physically Unable to Perform and Non-Football Injury lists as well as injured reserve.
As of now, the Vikings only have one player on the NFI list, that being offensive lineman Chris Reed. If the Vikings don’t activate him by that Tuesday deadline, he will go onto the regular season NFI list and be forced to miss at least the first four games of the season. The Vikings can’t place anybody else on PUP or NFI. . .that was a move that needed to be made before Training Camp practices started.
In addition, if the Vikings put any of their players on injured reserve before the 3:00 PM Tuesday deadline, they are done for the season. If you want to have the ability to put a player on IR and then bring them back during the season, they have to make the 53-man roster first. This is, presumably, to prevent teams from “stashing” players on IR and preventing other teams from getting a crack at them during the waiver process.
So, in the case of a player like Kene Nwangwu, who hasn’t played at all this preseason since suffering an injury in camp, the Vikings might want to put him on IR. However, they’ll have to put him on the 53-man roster and wait until after the 3:00 PM Tuesday deadline to do so if they want to have the ability to bring him back later on in the season. Of course, if that doesn’t matter to them, they could put him on there now and then his season would be over. But that’s a very important distinction to draw now that teams can bring players back from IR.
The next deadline will be 11:00 AM Central on Wednesday, 30 August. That is the deadline for teams to put in waiver claims for the players who were let go during the final cutdowns the day before. The waiver priority list is based on 2022 records, which means that the Vikings will be #24 on the waiver priority list. The Chicago Bears, who had the worst record in the league last year, will be at #1. . .basically if there’s a player that the Bears want, the Bears get him. If there’s a player the Vikings want, they have to hope that the 23 teams ahead of them don’t put in a claim for the same player.
Once that 11:00 AM Wednesday deadline clears, teams can begin signing any player who hasn’t been signed by another team or claimed on waivers to the practice squad. Most teams have 16 players on the practice squad, but the Vikings will have 17 because they will have a roster exemption for linebacker Junior Aho as a part of the International Player Pathway program. There are other rules governing that, but we can get into them at another time. I’m sure we’ll see practice squad signings for the Vikings as soon as the clock hits 11:01 Central on Wednesday morning, and we’ll keep an eye out for those as best we can.
But that’s how the sequence of events is going to go for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Kevin O’Connell, and the rest of the Vikings’ brass for the next couple of days. There are going to be a lot of moves made, and we’ll do everything we can to keep you updated on them as soon as they happen.