Vikings Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/1/21

Today’s minor moves:

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vikings Designate Michael Pierce For Return

The Vikings have designated nose tackle Michael Pierce for return from the injured reserve list, per a club announcement. After missing his last seven games, Pierce is finally on the verge of retaking the field.

Pierce enjoyed a great Week 1, collecting two sacks, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, and seven tackles against the Bengals. After that, he was clearly less than 100% and limited to just two tackles over the next three games. Then, when his elbow injury flared up against the Browns, the Vikings were forced to put him on IR.

Pierce, 29, spent his first four seasons with the Ravens. He joined the Vikings on a three-year, $27MM deal in 2020, but missed the year after opting out. His contract tolled, so he remains under club control through 2023.

The 5-6 Vikings could activate Pierce as soon as this week, allowing him to play against the winless Lions. They may also get some additional bulk up front if Dalvin Tomlinson is able to come off of the COVID-19 list.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Vikings’ Dalvin Cook

8:03pm: Cook is expected to miss at least the next two games – against the Lions and Steelers – with an expected return against the Bears on Dec. 20, as reported by ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

5:07pm: It was reported earlier today that Dalvin Cook had been diagnosed with a torn labrum and shoulder dislocation that would sideline him for the next two games. This was good news as there was fear Cook may have to miss the rest of the season.

The news continues to improve as, according to Mike Zimmer, Cook is only “day-to-day.” Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports that when asked if Cook has a torn labrum, Zimmer replied, “No.” Asked about the dislocated shoulder and Zimmer answered, “I’m not going to say.” While this still leaves room for concern, Minnesota will be relieved to discover that the injury to its star running back doesn’t seem as serious as it originally appeared.

11:46am: Dalvin Cook has been diagnosed with a torn labrum and dislocation in his shoulder (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). However, it won’t be a season-ender for the Vikings running back. 

That’s excellent news given that Cook had to be carted off the field during Sunday’s game. Following the MRI, the Vikings believe that Cook can come back after a few games of rest, similar to how he managed to return towards the end of 2019. The plan is to hold him out of their next two games against the Lions and the Steelers. After that, if everything checks out, he’ll be able to face the Bears in Week 15 (Twitter link). Placing Cook on IR would automatically rule him out for three games, so the Vikings will probably keep him on the 53-man roster for the time being.

Clearly, the Vikings offense is at its best with a healthy and productive Cook. Last year, he enjoyed his second-straight Pro Bowl season with 1,557 rushing yards, 17 total touchdowns, and a 5.0 yards per carry average. It was also his second-straight 14-game slate, a big step up from his first two campaigns.

So far this year, Cook has 773 rushing yards and four touchdowns with a 4.5 yards per carry average. He’s also contributed as a pass-catcher with 27 grabs for 202 yards.

Without Cook, the Vikings will rely on Alexander Mattison to keep the chains moving. He’s made two starts in place of Cook so far this year, totaling 225 yards on the ground plus 13 catches for 99 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Place Patrick Peterson On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Vikings announced that they have placed Patrick Peterson on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. As a result, the cornerback may be withheld from this Sunday’s game against the Lions. 

Peterson already missed a huge chunk of the season with a hamstring injury. He returned to action in Week 11 to face the Packers and suited up on Sunday in San Francisco, playing on all 70 of Minnesota’s defensive snaps.

In theory, the All-Decade cornerback can still play this week, provided that he is vaccinated, asymptomatic, and able to pass two COVID-19 tests. If he’s unvaccinated, he’ll be required to spent at least ten days in isolation.

P2 declined a bit towards the end of his Arizona tenure, but he’s fared better in Minnesota so far. The eight-time Pro Bowler has allowed a ~60% completion rate in coverage, much improved from his 67% figure of 2020.

Peterson will hope for a quick return to help lift the Vikings’ playoff chances. And, even if the Vikings fall out of the race, the veteran could use the rest of the slate as a platform for his next deal. P2 is slated for free agency in March, following the expiration of his one-year, $8MM deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/21

Here is how teams finalized their Week 12 rosters:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

  • Promoted: WR Matt Cole, OL Austen Pleasants

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

  • Promoted: LB La’Darius Hamilton

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/26/21

Here are the latest minor moves from around the NFL:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Vikings Place Everson Griffen On Reserve/Non-Football Illness List

Everson Griffen is off the Vikings’ active roster, as of Friday. The team placed the veteran defensive end on its reserve/non-football illness list.

This news comes two days after an incident at Griffen’s home in which the 33-year-old defender refused to leave the premises. Griffen called police himself and requested assistance. He told the dispatcher that he had fired a round and that someone was with him, but police later said that no intruder was found and no one was injured.

Law enforcement and Vikings team psychologists began communicating with Griffen around 7am Wednesday. He wrote in an Instagram story that he needed help and people were “trying to kill” him, via ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin.

Griffen did end up leaving his home at around 1:30pm, and the Vikings have confirmed the 12th-year veteran — who returned to Minnesota this year after spending the 2020 season with Dallas and Detroit — is receiving appropriate care. The Minntrista (Minn.) PD is investigating the matter, Cronin tweets.

Law enforcement agencies have notified us Everson Griffen came out of his home without incident and is now getting the care he needs,” the Vikings said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnetrista Police Department and the Orono Police Department for their quick response and dedication to ensuring the situation ended peacefully. Our focus remains on Everson’s health and safety and providing the proper resources for him and his family.”

Beyond contact with staffers, Griffen has not been with the team this week. He will not play Sunday and must miss at least three games because of the reserve/NFI designation. Griffen has registered five sacks in nine games this season. While Danielle Hunter’s six still leads the team, the Pro Bowl D-end is out for the season. The absence of Griffen, a four-time Pro Bowler, will obviously hurt an already-limited Vikings pass rush.

This certainly reminds of the 2018 development that led to Griffen missing time. Griffen was involved in several bizarre incidents that led to his absence from the team for a few weeks. He later revealed in April 2020 that he lived in a sober house from October 2018 through the end of that season. While Griffen indicated that he was not diagnosed with a serious mental health issue like bipolar disorder, he was continuing to speak with a team of therapists, clinical psychologists and a life coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/26/21

Here are the latest practice squad moves from around the league:

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

  • Reinstated from practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Jake Bargas

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/24/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Police Respond To Home Of Vikings DE Everson Griffen

3:35pm: This unfortunate situation appears to have ended on a positive note. The Vikings released a second statement regarding Griffen, indicating the veteran defensive end came out of his home peacefully and is now receiving care (Twitter link).

11:45am: We have a developing story on Vikings DE Everson Griffen. Early Wednesday morning, as Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune writes, Griffen posted to Instagram screenshots of text messages he sent to his agent, Brian Murphy. Those messages asked Murphy to call 911 because “people are trying to kill me.”

Around 3am, Griffen called police himself and requested assistance. He told the dispatcher that he had fired a round and that someone was with him, but police later said that no intruder was found and no one was injured.

Per the news release from the Minnetrista PD, which Lou Raguse of KARE 11 tweeted out, the police and Vikings staff members have been in contact with Griffen, but Griffen has refused to come out of his home. However, officers are confident that Griffen is alone in the house.

The team issued the following statement:

“Vikings representatives and the team’s mental health professionals have been on-site at Everson Griffen’s home since early this morning and are cooperating with law enforcement. Our only concern at this time is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family. We will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

Head coach Mike Zimmer did not offer any insight on the matter, saying, “the only thing I can comment on is for health and well being for [Griffen’s] family” (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). When asked whether Griffen was safe, Zimmer replied that he did not know. GM Rick Spielman will offer further updates at some point today (Twitter link via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com).

Today’s events evoke memories of September 2018, when Griffen was involved in several bizarre incidents that led to his absence from the team for a few weeks. The soon-to-be 34-year-old later revealed in April 2020 that he lived in a sober house from October 2018 through the end of the 2018 season, and while he indicated that he was not diagnosed with a serious mental health issue like bipolar disorder, he was continuing to speak with a team of therapists, clinical psychologists, and a life coach.

He ended up earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2019 before opting out of his contract with the Vikings and splitting the 2020 season between the Cowboys and Lions. He returned to Minnesota in August, and he has been productive this year. In nine games, he has posted five sacks and has played well enough to regain his old job as the club’s starting RDE. He has started the last six contests, and while Pro Football Focus considers him a middle-of-the-road contributor overall, his 79.0 pass rush grade is a top-five mark among edge defenders.

Cronin was among those to tweet about Griffen’s social media posts before full-length pieces were published and the police report was released.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.