Joejuan Williams

Vikings Will Not Activate WR Justin Jefferson For Week 11; QB Nick Mullens Activated

For the second straight week, Vikings fans will come away disappointed as star wide receiver Justin Jefferson will once again not be activated from injured reserve in time for Sunday’s game, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jefferson returned to practice this week but clearly doesn’t quite feel ready to return to the active roster.

The All-Pro receiver’s 21-day practice window was opened on November 8, meaning Jefferson can miss this week’s contest and potentially even the one after that before returning from IR. He will have to be activated in the week after the team’s Week 12 game against the Bears in order to avoid losing the ability to be activated off IR, but if he still needs time to get healthy, the Vikings have a Week 13 bye that will grant Jefferson another two weeks after the Chicago matchup to get right.

That’s not to say that Jefferson will miss next week, as well, necessarily. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Minnesota has noted good progress for Jefferson this week and are getting very close to activating him. He just wasn’t quite ready to be activated by today’s 4pm deadline.

The Vikings will make an addition to their active roster, though, activating quarterback Nick Mullens from IR today. Following the loss of Kirk Cousins for the year, the addition of Mullens certainly becomes more meaningful, but Mullens won’t be asked to take over the offense in Cousins’ absence as trade acquisition Joshua Dobbs has assumed the starting position under center. Still, Mullens provides Minnesota with a stronger option at backup quarterback. Jaren Hall remains unavailable as he deals with a concussion, and Mullens should be an upgrade over practice squad passer Sean Mannion.

In addition to the activation of Mullens, the Vikings announced that two more players would be added to the active roster for tomorrow’s contest. The team has promoted veteran linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Joejuan Williams from the practice squad in time for tomorrow’s Mile High matchup.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/1/23

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: QB Dresser Winn

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: DE Michael Dogbe, CB JoeJuan Williams
  • Released: CB C.J. Coldon

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: DL Pat O’Connor

With Matthew Stafford questionable for Week 9, the Rams are adding some additional QB depth. Winn had a standout career at UT Martin before going undrafted in this year’s draft. The QB spent training camp with the Rams before eventually joining the Edmonton Elks in the CFL. As Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes, the signing is especially notable considering Winn also punted in college; Rams punter Ethan Evans is currently dealing with a sprained ankle.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/31/23

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad transactions in the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/21/23

Here are the minor moves made around the league in advance of the Week 7 slate of Sunday games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos 

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Restored to active roster (from suspension exemption): DE Charles Omenihu

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants 

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Dulcich already had one IR stint this season due to an aggravation of last year’s hamstring injury. The 2022 third-rounder has appeared in only two contests so far this season, and in the most recent one he suffered yet another setback. As a result, he will once again be shut down for at least four weeks.

The Giants’ decision to again promote DeVito points to starter Daniel Jones missing another game. Indeed, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Jones is considered a “longshot” to play tomorrow against the Commanders. It will in all likelihood be Tyrod Taylor under center for New York in Week 7 while Jones continues to recover from his neck injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/20/23

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Bears Add CB Joejuan Williams Off Vikings’ Practice Squad

Intra-divisional practice squad poaching has taken off this week. After two such transactions transpired in the NFC South on Tuesday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes the Bears are adding a Vikings P-squad defender.

Cornerback Joejuan Williams will head from Minneapolis to Chicago, with the Bears signing the cornerback off the Vikings’ taxi squad Wednesday morning. This will help a Bears team depleted at corner. The Bears have since announced the move.

Chicago is down Kyler Gordon, who headed to IR with a broken hand, and saw fellow starters Jaylon Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson leave the team’s Week 3 matchup. Stevenson entered concussion protocol during the Chiefs’ runaway win, while Johnson left the game due to a hamstring injury.

Williams appears likely to see his first game action since 2021. The former Patriots second-rounder signed with the Vikings in April but could not make their 53-man roster. Minnesota did extend a P-squad invite shortly after waiving Williams, who was pushing for a roster spot during training camp. A desperate Bears team will take a look.

The Falcons added Storm Norton off the Saints’ P-squad, and the Saints signed quarterback Jake Luton off the Panthers’ 16-man unit. Like Norton and Luton, Williams must remain on his new team’s active roster for at least three weeks.

A 6-foot-3 cover man out of Vanderbilt, Williams went to the Patriots at No. 45 overall in 2019. Joining the then-defending Super Bowl champions, Williams could not carve out a notable role during his time in New England. He played a career-high 254 defensive snaps for the 2021 Pats but has just one start on his resume. Williams, 25, spent the 2022 season on IR due to a summer shoulder injury.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Vikings Make Cuts To Reach 53-Man Roster

Most of the Vikings’ roster moves were done ahead of the deadline, but today they did the rest of the work to get down to the 53-man roster. Here are the moves made today to reach the deadline:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

  • LB Abraham Beauplan

Released:

A strong preseason performance by backup running back Ty Chandler and the returning prowess of Kene Nwangwu led to the disappointing cut of the seventh-round pick McBride. Besides that, there weren’t many surprises on the offensive side of the ball as the Vikings continually value consistency on the offensive line.

Minnesota needed to work out how to replace the production lost in the departure of pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. The opportunity led to a nice surprise as undrafted rookie Andre Carter II makes the initial 53. Carter is joined on the defensive side by undrafted linebacker Ivan Pace, who got plenty of run in camp as Brian Asamoah recovered from injury. Safety NaJee Thompson is the last undrafted rookie to find his way onto the roster thanks to his contributions on special teams.

NFC North Rumors: Tom, Bears, Vikes, Lions

This offseason, Zach Tom loomed as a challenger for either the Packerscenter or right tackle spots. While it is not known just yet where the second-year blocker will end up, it looks like his playing time will increase. Tom is going to end up starting, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic notes (subscription required). A fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest, Tom started five of the nine games he played last season and saw time at four of the five O-line positions (all but center). Tom did start at center for the Demon Deacons, however, playing there and at left tackle in college. Former second-round pick Josh Myers has been the Packers’ primary center over the past two seasons. Should Tom land at right tackle, Yosh Nijman — whom the team gave a second-round RFA tender this offseason — would be on track to be a backup.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • The Bears‘ running back race is still too early to call, but The Athletic’s Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain posit that Khalil Herbert is the current frontronner. David Montgomery‘s top backup last season, Herbert flashed when available. The former sixth-round pick averaged 5.7 yards per carry, helping the Bears lead the league in rushing. With Montgomery now in Detroit, the Bears have held a three-man competition — between Herbert, UFA pickup D’Onta Foreman and fourth-rounder Roschon Johnson — to replace him. Even if Herbert wins the starter gig, Chicago’s run-oriented attack will likely require regular workloads from multiple backs.
  • Veteran running back Mike Davis stopped through Minneapolis for a recent Vikings workout, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Minnesota, which is all set to complete a Dalvin Cook-to-Alexander Mattison transition, recently auditioned Kareem Hunt as well. Beyond Mattison, the Vikings roster Ty Chandler (2022, Round 5) and DeWayne McBride (2023, Round 7) as their top backfield options. Davis, 30, spent last season with the Ravens but did not carve out much playing time — even for a team reeling at running back. He fared better with the Panthers and Falcons in 2020 and 2021, respectively, combining for 1,145 rushing yards in that span.
  • Byron Murphy played a versatile role for the Cardinals, lining up in the slot and outside. The Vikings are planning to capitalize on Murphy’s slot experience, with ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert noting the free agency pickup will move inside when the team shifts to its nickel package. With nickel and dime sets now more common than base alignments, Murphy should be expected to see plenty of slot work in Minnesota.
  • A 2022 second-round pick, Andrew Booth has not made a strong case to move into the starting lineup alongside Murphy. The Clemson product is running Akayleb Evans, a 2022 fourth-rounder, along with Joejuan Williams and rookie third-rounder Mekhi Blackmon. Williams and Blackmon look to be competing for the CB3 role, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis adds, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling notes the rookie is believed to be ahead of the former Patriots second-rounder. Evans, who played 162 defensive snaps last season, has spent the most time with the first team of this group. The Vikings have rebooted at corner, letting both Patrick Peterson and slot Chandon Sullivan walk in free agency.
  • Danielle Hunter‘s reworked deal calls for a $20.95MM cap hit, and although this is now a contract year for the veteran defensive end, two void years remain on the deal (Twitter links via Goessling and ESPN’s Field Yates). Hunter’s $3MM in incentives are classified as not likely to be earned, per Goessling. The void years would leave the Vikings with a $14.9MM dead-money hit if they do not re-sign Hunter before the 2024 league year begins. Void years led to the Vikings taking a $7.5MM dead-money hit when Dalvin Tomlinson left in free agency this year.
  • While Teddy Bridgewater secured $2.5MM guaranteed from the Lions, GOPHNX.com’s Howard Balzer tweets the veteran QB’s Lions deal is worth $3MM in base value. The Lions used a void year, keeping the cap number at $2.66MM.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/17/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Teams with returning head coaches are now free to begin offseason workouts, leading to this high number of RFA and ERFA tenders being signed. Bryant and Reaves signed the low-end tender, while the Packers gave Nijman a second-round tender. Bryant and Reaves are tied to $2.62MM salaries; Nijman is attached to a $4.3MM number. Nijman has both played left and right tackle, settling in at the latter spot after the Packers moved Elgton Jenkins back to guard last season. ERFAs are two years from unrestricted free agency; RFAs are one year away.

An August shoulder injury cost Williams his 2022 season, but the former second-round pick was trending in the wrong direction with the Patriots. New England chose Williams 45th overall in 2019 but used him as a starter only once. New Vikings DC Brian Flores was no longer with the Pats when they drafted Williams, 25, but the team will take a flier on the Vanderbilt alum.