Vikings Rumors

Vikings Place CB Mike Hughes On IR

The Vikings will enter their Aaron Rodgers rematch decimated at cornerback. They placed Mike Hughes on IR Friday, and ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin reports the neck injury Hughes sustained in Week 6 has the rest of his season in doubt.

Neck trouble would be an automatic concern regardless of circumstances, but Hughes has a history with neck issues. He landed on IR before Minnesota’s playoff slate last season, and a belated report indicated the former first-round pick suffered broken vertebra in his neck. Hughes recovered in time for this season, but Friday’s report is certainly troubling for his NFL future.

Hughes has not been able to stay healthy as a pro. An ACL tear ended his 2018 rookie season after six games. He played 14 last season but has missed time this year. With 2018 first-round picks being the first to have fully guaranteed fifth-year options, it now appears a certainty the Vikings will pass on Hughes’ come May.

The Vikings did, however, make Hughes a key piece of their cornerback puzzle this offseason. They let Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander defect to the Bengals, doing so after cutting former No. 1 corner Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota drafted corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler in Rounds 1 and 3, respectively, this year.

Dantzler, however, resides on the Vikings’ reserve/COVID-19 list. He will miss Sunday’s Packers tilt, leaving Gladney as the only healthy corner from the Vikes’ regular rotation. Holton Hill is also out with a foot injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Anthony Harris Back On Trade Block

After trading Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings appear to be reopening the door to dealing their franchise player. Anthony Harris is again available, per Albert Breer of SI.com. The Vikings discussed at least one tag-and-trade deal involving the 2019 breakout player-turned-tag recipient this offseason but moved forward with Harris as a starter for the third season. The price was believed to be a Day 2 pick at that point. Harris has more than half of his $11.4MM tag salary due. Harris joins safety mate Harrison Smith, tight end Kyle Rudolph and left tackle Riley Reiff as available Viking veterans.

  • In the thick of the AFC playoff race at 5-2, the Browns may still be dangling Olivier Vernon. Although the veteran defensive end came off Cleveland’s trade block this summer, the Browns shopped him for a while. They may be doing so again, with Breer indicating the 30-year-old edge rusher is being viewed as available. However, the Browns would move to replace the veteran opposite Myles Garrett. They were in on the first Nkagoue sweepstakes in August but lost out to the Vikings. In the final year of his contract, Vernon does not have a sack this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Houston Texans

  • Activated from IR: WR Isaiah Coulter

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/28/20

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad decisions:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Vikings’ Danielle Hunter Officially Done For Year

Danielle Hunter has been officially ruled out for the season after undergoing successful neck surgery to repair a herniated disc, head coach Mike Zimmer announced (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin). This was the expected move for Hunter, who has not seen the field in 2020.

Hunter recently got a second opinion from a specialist in New York, who told him to shut it down for the season. On the field, he’s been sorely missed, though the Vikings’ problems have not been limited to the edge rush. The Vikings have struggled to generate consistent pressure without Hunter, and they’re now trying to improve on that front without the services of Yannick Ngakoue, who was shipped to the Ravens earlier this month.

When the Vikings placed Hunter on injured reserve in September, they hoped that Hunter would be able to make his debut either this week or next. Instead, he’ll be shelved for the remainder of the season. Even in a best case scenario, it wouldn’t have been an easy call to activate him. At 1-5, the one-time Super Bowl contenders aren’t playing for much.

Last year, Hunter graded out as the No. 7 ranked edge rusher in the league, ahead of Cameron Jordan, Myles Garrett, Demarcus Lawrence, and a host of other big names. He notched 14.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons, bringing his career tally to 54.5. He’ll still be tied to the team for years to come, thanks to the five-year, $72MM extension he inked in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/27/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Promoted: LB Andre Smith
  • Released from reserve/retired list: DB Isiah Brown

Denver Broncos

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/20

We’ll keep track of the practice squad moves from the past day here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Released: T Jared Hilbers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: K Austin MacGinnis

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

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.

Trade Rumors: Giants, Ryan, Fuller

After dealing Markus Golden to the Cardinals, it appears the 1-6 Giants have officially declared themselves sellers at this year’s trade deadline. Though GM Dave Gettleman may be reluctant to trade away veteran talent that could theoretically help Big Blue win a few games — and perhaps save Gettleman’s job in the process — players like Evan Engram, Kevin Zeitler, and Golden Tate could be available, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes (though Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the club is unlikely to deal Engram).

2017 second-round DT Dalvin Tomlinson could also be on the move, per Dunleavy. Tomlinson is playing out the last year of his rookie contract, and while he has expressed interest in staying with the Giants long-term, there has been little progress in contract talks.

As we creep closer to the November 3 deadline, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league:

Teams Calling Vikings On Kyle Rudolph

The Vikings greenlit this season’s biggest trade thus far by sending Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for third- and fifth-round picks. While GM Rick Spielman said the team is not waving a white flag on its 2020 season, Albert Breer of SI.com notes the Vikings are willing to make more seller’s trades. Teams have contacted them about Kyle Rudolph, their 10th-year tight end who is in the first season of his latest Minnesota extension. The Vikings signed Rudolph to a four-year, $36MM extension but did so shortly after drafting Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. While Breer notes the Vikes are open for business on contract-year players, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Rudolph would make sense as a trade chip as well. He was a trade candidate before he signed his extension. Guard Pat Elflein and franchise-tagged safety Anthony Harris are the Vikings’ highest-profile contract-year players.