AUGUST 2: Risner left his Vikings visit without a deal in place, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. While Ingram may well be ticketed to keep his starting job, Kevin O’Connell said Reed does not have a return timetable just yet. Risner figures to have other options, with a handful of teams showing some degree of interest earlier this summer. But the Vikings may be in the market for a lower-priced guard should Reed not show progress.
JULY 31: One of the best remaining free agent linemen is heading out for a visit. Veteran offensive guard Dalton Risner is visiting with the Vikings, according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter).
Risner was a 2019 second-round pick by the Broncos and proceeded to earn PFWA All-Rookie Team honors after starting all 16 games that season. The lineman ended up starting all 62 of his appearances in Denver, playing primarily at left guard.
This past season, the 28-year-old missed a pair of games thanks to an elbow injury but otherwise started all 15 of his appearances. When he was on the field, he didn’t do a whole lot to impress, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 42nd among 50 qualifying offensive guards in 2022. In fact, the site has never been all that fond of the lineman, with Risner peaking as the 28th-best guard in 2021.
As ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweets, there’s little chance Risner would be brought in to battle guards Ezra Cleveland or Ed Ingram for their starting spots. Rather, Risner would be viewed as a depth piece in Minnesota, especially with the Vikings currently dealing with some injuries at the position. That includes Chris Reed, who is currently on the non-football injury list with an undisclosed issue.
With Reed sidelined, that leaves inexperienced options like Bobby Evans, Alan Ali, and Jack Snyder to soak up snaps at offensive guard. Risner would provide a bit of veteran know-how, especially when you consider his experience playing under Vikings OL coach Chris Kuper and assistant OL coach Justin Ruscati during the trio’s time in Denver.