Cameron Dantzler

Vikings Activate CB Cameron Dantzler, Place DL Jonathan Bullard On IR

DECEMBER 10: To no surprise, Dantzler has indeed been activated, per a team announcement. That comes as welcomed news for the Vikings, given the injuries suffered at the position by rookies Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth during his absence. Dantzler should immediately return to a starting role.

In a corresponding move, Minnesota has placed Jonathan Bullard on IR. The veteran d-lineman suffered a biceps injury last Sunday against the Jets, a game which marked the first in five weeks which he did not start. There was initial optimism that his injury would not be serious, but further testing has led to what will be at least a four-week absence.

DECEMBER 7: Kevin O’Connell expressed hope Cameron Dantzler would be ready to return from IR when first eligible. The Vikings took a step toward that happening Wednesday, designating the starting cornerback for return.

Minnesota designated both Dantzler and running back Ty Chandler for return. Each player has 21 days to be activated or miss the rest of the season. While IR math might come into play regarding Chandler, the Vikings are expecting Dantzler to be activated immediately.

A 2020 third-round pick, Dantzler has been the team’s regular boundary starter opposite Patrick Peterson this season. The Mike Zimmer-era draftee has started all eight games he has played during his third NFL slate. A part-time starter last year, Dantzler was a reliable cog for DC Ed Donatell before going down with a high ankle sprain.

Pro Football Focus rates Dantzler just outside the top 40 at corner this season. The Mississippi State alum held off second-round rookie Andrew Booth for the starting role opposite Peterson; Booth did not see much time before undergoing knee surgery last week. The Clemson product being out for the season as a result of the operation places more importance on Dantzler’s status, but the Vikings appear close to redeploying their Peterson-Dantzler duo. Dantzler has 25 starts on his resume.

Minnesota’s Ben Ellefson activation last week leaves five such moves remaining. Dantzler will undoubtedly cut into this total, though it would not surprise to see the Vikings slow-play it with Chandler to determine how their injury situation unfolds. The Vikes placed the rookie fifth-rounder on IR back in October due to a broken thumb. Playing behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, Chandler saw action in only two games before hitting IR and has not played an offensive snap as a pro yet.

Vikings CB Andrew Booth Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

NOVEMBER 29: Booth’s season is in fact over, as noted (on Twitter) by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. This will no doubt lead to an IR placement, as the Vikings look for added depth in the secondary and the 22-year-old turns his attention to next season.

NOVEMBER 28: The Vikings used their top two draft choices this year to address the secondary. Both players began developmental tracks as rookies, and injuries have now changed each defender’s path.

Weeks after Lewis Cine‘s season-ending injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) second-round pick Andrew Booth is undergoing knee surgery. Kevin O’Connell said the young cornerback will likely be placed on IR. While Booth may be shelved for the season’s remainder, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets the team is hopeful a January return can commence.

This has proven to be a rocky year for Booth, who underwent sports hernia surgery ahead of the draft and suffered a quadriceps injury in September, has not commandeered a regular role in Minnesota’s secondary. Booth did not play a defensive snap until Week 10 and struggled against the Cowboys — in his first start — a week later. This knee issue sidelined the Clemson product for the Vikes’ Thanksgiving Day game against the Patriots.

While Cine is traversing a long rehab route after undergoing two surgeries in London to repair a leg fracture, Booth does not appear in need of extensive rehab time. The Vikings have been one of the league’s healthiest teams this season, the highly drafted DBs’ issues notwithstanding. The NFC North leaders still have seven injury activations remaining. It appears the Vikes will be able to wait out Booth’s recovery and not factor IR math into the equation for the playoffs. Though, it is still a bit early for complete confidence on that front.

Additionally, O’Connell said the team is aiming to have Cameron Dantzler ready to return form IR when first eligible next week. Dantzler suffered an ankle injury that led him to IR. The former third-round pick has been the Vikes’ regular outside corner starter opposite Patrick Peterson when healthy this season. Without either Dantzler or Booth in the mix, Minnesota started Duke Shelley — a 2019 Bears sixth-rounder — alongside Peterson and slot corner Chandon Sullivan against New England.

Vikings Place CB Cameron Dantzler On IR

Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler was placed on injured reserve yesterday as the result of an ankle injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The loss of their starting cornerback comes at a four-game stretch where the Vikings’ opponents are a combined 23-13.

Dantzler has become a full-time starter in his third season in the NFL. When Dantzler left last week’s win over the Commanders, Minnesota utilized a mixture of Akayleb Evans and Chandon Sullivan opposite the team’s other starter Patrick Peterson. The two were asked once again to step in today against the Bills before Evans left the game with an apparent concussion, requiring the Vikings to turn to rookie second-round pick Andrew Booth who was playing his first career NFL snaps on defense.

The Vikings will hope Evans can clear concussion protocols quickly to avoid having to rely too much on Booth and Kris Boyd, who had seen a combined two defensive snaps before today’s game. The team also expects Dantzler to make a return this season. By placing him on IR before today’s matchup, the game will count toward the four-game minimum that he must remain on IR before being eligible to return. If he can recover quickly, Dantzler can be eligible to return as soon as Week 14, in time for a trip to Detroit.

In a corresponding move yesterday, the Vikings also signed practice squad cornerback Duke Shelley to the active roster. The third-year cornerback out of Kansas State had appeared in two games prior to this week but only appeared on special teams. Shelley was also forced into action during the team’s overtime win today, breaking up a pass intended for Bills tight end Dawson Knox in the endzone that would’ve ended the game had it been completed. Instead, Peterson intercepted quarterback Josh Allen on the very next play, cementing the seventh-straight victory for the Vikings.

Latest On Vikings Rookies Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth

The Vikings used their top two selections in this year’s draft to bolster their secondary, though the prospects they landed may not be seeing major snaps right away. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, neither safety Lewis Cine nor cornerback Andrew Booth are likely to play starting roles to begin the season. 

Cine went No. 32 overall, the slot Minnesota took over as a result of their swap with the Lions which allowed Detroit to move up to the 12th position. The fifth and final member of Georgia’s elite defense to hear their name called on Day 1, Cine was a key contributor on the backend for the Bulldogs throughout his three-year college career.

Taking a step forward with each successive campaign, the six-foot-one, 200-pounder totaled 73 tackles last season, adding an interception and nine pass breakups. Known more for his physicality than his range or ball skills (dropping him below the likes of Kyle Hamilton and Daxton Hill in the position’s draft rankings), Cine has been competing with 2021 fourth-rounder Camryn Bynum for a first-team role. It appears the latter will get the nod to partner with Harrison Smith at least to start the season.

Booth was also selected in the wake of a trade, but in his case, the Vikings moved up to secure him. Hernia surgery may have hurt his draft stock, as he was considered a borderline first-rounder, but the Clemson product is healthy in time for Week 1. He registered 37 tackles (including three for a loss), along with five passes defensed in his final year with the Tigers.

He also ranked tied for second in the ACC with three interceptions, showcasing his ball skills which, combined with his athletic profile, give him a high upside. Instead of Booth, though, the Vikings are poised to use 2020 third-rounder Cameron Dantzler (who almost found himself being traded last offseason) as a bookend to Patrick Peterson on the perimeter.

The Vikings’ pass defense ranked 28th last season, allowing 253 yards per game through the air. While that makes their commitments to Cine and Booth understandable, familiar faces will prevent them from seeing full-time duty to start their respective careers.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/4/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

49ers Discussed Trade For Vikings’ Cameron Dantzler; Richard Sherman Still On Radar

After entering the season with a thinner cornerback depth chart than they featured in recent years, the 49ers have needed to make multiple additions over the past several days.

Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick are now on San Francisco’s roster, with injuries — most notably Jason Verrett‘s ACL tear — moving the team to add veterans. The 49ers have been in discussions to keep bolstering their corner corps, with The Athletic’s David Lombardi reporting Richard Sherman remains on the team’s radar (subscription required).

The 49ers and Sherman still have mutual interest in a reunion, according to Lombardi. Sherman, 33, played the past three seasons with the 49ers but has run into off-field trouble. A July arrest brought five misdemeanor charges for the former All-Pro, who had been on a few teams’ radars this offseason. This marks Sherman’s first known connection to a team since the arrest.

Initially, the 49ers and Sherman agreed to part ways ahead of free agency. But Sherman did not land anywhere in free agency. In May, the prospect of Sherman returning to San Francisco surfaced. The Raiders, Saints and Seahawks also held discussions with the acclaimed defender. Norman and Kirkpatrick’s arrivals notwithstanding, Sherman would help the 49ers further address a key need. After missing Week 1, outside corner Emmanuel Moseley is doubtful for San Francisco’s Week 2 tilt in Philadelphia with a knee injury.

These issues also prompted the 49ers to look to the trade market. The team inquired about Vikings corner Cameron Dantzler, Lombardi adds. Minnesota made the 2020 third-round pick a healthy scratch in Week 1. Dantzler started 11 games as a rookie but is now behind offseason additions Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland. For now, the Vikings are holding off on a Dantzler deal. The 49ers then moved to Kirkpatrick, whom they auditioned earlier this year.

With Kirkpatrick and Norman in place as stopgaps, San Francisco’s cornerback spot certainly stands as a situation to monitor early in the season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/20

Here is the league’s avalanche of Halloween minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

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

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.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 7/23/20

Here are Thursday’s draft pick agreements, with the list being updated throughout the day.

  • The Vikings picked an interesting year to make 15 draft choices, given the pandemic’s impact on developmental work. But the team is nearly finished with rookie contract agreements. Minnesota signed third-round cornerback Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State), fourth-round defensive end D.J. Wonnum (South Carolina), fifth-round corner Harrison Hand (Temple), fifth-round wideout K.J. Osborn (Miami), sixth-round tackle Blake Brandel (Oregon State), sixth-round safety Josh Metellus (Michigan), seventh-round defensive end Kenny Willekes (Michigan State) and seventh-round safety Brian Cole (Mississippi State). Minnesota lost Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason and tripled up on corners in the draft. First-round corner Jeff Gladney is the Vikes’ lone unsigned pick.
  • Top 2020 Steelers pick Chase Claypool, a second-rounder, is now under contract. The Steelers have their latest Day 2 wide receiver investment signed, along with Round 6 safety Antoine Brooks (Maryland). Claypool’s addition means the top four Pittsburgh wideouts — JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Claypool — came from the second or third rounds. The Notre Dame product has quite the SPARQ profile, going 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the Combine.
  • Washington wrapped up its 2020 draft class by signing Round 4 tackle Saahdiq Charles, Round 5 linebacker Khaleke Hudson, Round 6 safety Kamren Curl and Round 7 defensive end James Smith-Williams.
  • The Bengals signed one of Claypool’s former Fighting Irish teammates, fifth-round defensive end Khalid Kareem. He is the first of Cincinnati’s seven 2020 picks to agree to terms.