Mark Fields

Vikings Designate Pat Elflein, Troy Dye To Return

The Vikings are in the midst of an abysmal campaign at 1-5, but they at least have some reinforcements on the way. Minnesota is designating guard Pat Elflein and linebacker Troy Dye to return from injured reserve, they announced Monday.

Each can return to practice, and the team now has a three-week window to activate either player. If they are not activated in that span, they’ll be ineligible to return for the remainder of the year. Those weren’t the only roster moves the Vikings made following their bye week, as they also claimed cornerback Chris Jones off waivers from the Lions and signed cornerback Mark Fields to the active roster from the practice squad. Clearly, the Vikings feel they need help in the secondary, and it’s hard to argue with that given what we’ve seen so far.

Elflein became the Vikings’ starter at center his first two years in the league, then switched to guard last season and started 15 games there. He played every snap in Week 1 but was placed on injured reserve with a knee issue shortly thereafter. Elflein has never been viewed too positively by most evaluators, but it can’t hurt to get a starter back.

Dye is a fourth-round rookie from Oregon who could help with a defense that has been struggling mightily. He started to get defensive snaps in Week 2 after Anthony Barr picked up his season-ending injury, but then promptly went down with a foot injury of his own.

Jones is a 2018 UDFA from Nebraska who appeared in 11 games with three starts for the Cardinals last year. He had 22 tackles and six passes defended. Fields is a 2019 UDFA from Clemson who spent most of last year on Minnesota’s practice squad and has been shuffling back and forth between there and the active roster this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Promote S George Iloka

George Iloka is on track to see game action for the first time since the 2018 season finale. The Vikings promoted the veteran safety from their practice squad.

Minnesota added Iloka late this summer, doing so after hosting him twice. Iloka brings extensive experience for a practice squad player, joining a few players in that regard in this historically unusual season, and will resume his career with the team for which he last played. Iloka played 16 games for the 2018 Vikings but was out of football last season.

The Vikings are off to a brutal start, having been unable to compete with the Packers and Colts. Their defense ranks 20th in DVOA. Minnesota lost several starters from recent years — Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander, Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen — and is also down cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Cameron Dantzler for its Week 3 game against Tennessee. Danielle Hunter also remains on IR, with Anthony Barr out for the season. Iloka will return to a defense featuring few familiar faces.

The team, however, still employs top-tier safety tandem Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. Iloka adds 99 games’ (and 79 starts’) worth of experience to the Vikings’ safety group. He has played under Mike Zimmer in four his seven seasons, doing so with the Bengals and Vikings.

To help out at corner, the Vikings are also promoting Mark Fields.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. There are many, as teams take advantage of the rule change allowing 55-man rosters ahead of regular-season games. Teams can dress 48 players for games this season, up from 46.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Vikings Sign K Chase McLaughlin To Practice Squad

The Vikings signed kicker Chase McLaughlin, kicker Chase McLaughlin, linebacker Hardy Nickerson, and defensive tackle Albert Huggins to the practice squad on Tuesday. With that, the Vikes have filled out their 16-man unit:

McLaughlin bounced around last year, appearing in games for the Colts, Chargers, and 49ers. He started off the 2019 season with the Vikings’ practice squad, and they’re bringing him back in 2020 to serve as extra insurance for Dan Bailey. Earlier this summer, he lost out on the Colts’ kicking job when Chris Ballard & Co. chose rookie Rodrigo Blankenship.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/15/20

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • DB DaShaun Amos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/12/20

The Vikings added a group of players on reserve/futures contracts today, and we also missed some of the Rams’ from earlier in the week. For a primer/refresher on what exactly these deals entail, click here.

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Polite is the most well-known of the bunch. A highly regarded talent, he fell to the Jets with the 68th pick this past draft because of off-field concerns. He was shockingly cut by New York despite being an early third-round pick, and eventually ended up on the Rams’ practice squad.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/16/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/14/19

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Promoted from practice squad: T Jake Rodgers
  • Waived: OL Corey Levin

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

NFC North Notes: Lions, Jackson, Vikings, Fields, Vedvik, Packers, Goodson

The Lions might not be done stockpiling quarterbacks. At cutdown day, they had amassed five on the 90-man roster. They cut Tom Savage and Luis Perez to get them down to three, but are now apparently looking for additional options. Detroit will work out Tyree Jackson on Monday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). The Bills waived Jackson this weekend. As of right now the Lions have journeyman Josh Johnson and undrafted rookie David Blough, who they just traded for, on the roster behind Matthew Stafford.

The Lions also scheduled a Kyle Sloter workout, but the recently waived Vikings passer ended up signing with the Cardinals’ practice squad. Sloter drew interest from several teams, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Jackson left the University of Buffalo a year early, then went undrafted. He’s widely regarded as having impressive physical tools, but still being far too raw to play anytime soon.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • The Vikings made a minor trade with the Chiefs for cornerback Mark Fields over the weekend, and now we have the details. The 2021 seventh-round pick Minnesota sent is conditional, a source told Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link). Gooessling writes that it’s “based on Fields being on the Vikings’ roster for an agreed-upon number of games,” and that if Fields isn’t on the roster long Minnesota won’t have to give up anything. Fields was an undrafted rookie from Clemson who the Vikings reportedly had interest in right after the draft.
  • Speaking of Vikings trades, Minnesota caught some flak for trading a fifth-round pick for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik and then cutting him a few weeks later. Vedvik struggled during the preseason, and Minnesota opted to stick with Dan Bailey as their kicker. The Jets ended up claiming Vedvik off waivers, but Minnesota apparently wanted him back. The Vikings had offered him a spot on the practice squad and he was likely going to accept before New York claimed him, Tomasson tweets.
  • We also now have terms on the B.J. Goodson trade. The Giants initially announced they intended to release the inside linebacker, but then traded him to the Packers earlier this morning. The deal was done in exchange for the teams agreeing to swap conditional 2020 seventh-round picks, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Balzer notes that Green Bay sent a pick they had previously acquired from Baltimore in the deal. Goodson was a fourth-round pick of the Giants’ back in 2016, who started 13 games for them last year.

Chiefs Trade CB Mark Fields To Vikings

Mark Fields is heading to Minnesota. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the cornerback has been traded by the Chiefs to the Vikings. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin tweets that Kansas City has received a 2021 seventh-rounder.

The undrafted free agent cornerback considered signing with Minnesota after the draft, tweets Cronin. The Vikings had been seeking some extra depth at outside and slot cornerback, and Fields possesses the flexibility to fill in at either spot.

For the Chiefs, the team had relatively high hopes for the cornerback following a productive training camp. However, Fields struggled on game day, and he had three penalties (two pass interference and a face mark) during Kansas City’s preseason finale.