4 Veteran Vikings on the Roster Bubble with the Final Preseason Game Approaching

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Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings will host the Arizona Cardinals in their final preseason game this weekend, and a week from today, they will have to cut their roster down to its final 53 players.

With preseason and training camp beginning to wind down, there are many different directions that the Vikings could go in with their final roster. Here are 4 veteran Vikings who appear to be on the roster bubble heading into the final week of preseason.

The WRs

4 Veteran Vikings
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) returns a punt as they face the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

This group is far too tough to narrow down to just one player. Right now, the battle for WRs 4-6 includes Jalen Nailor, Jalen Reagor, Brandon Powell, N’Keal Harry, and Trishton Jackson. Folks, I’ll be the 20th person to say that not all of these players will be able to make the Vikings final roster.

In fact, there is a high probability that at least two or even three of these players will be cut around this time next week. Nailor seems the safest player in this group even with his injury that has held him out for most of camp, but he was able to return to the field on Monday. This means it could end up being a battle for one or two spots between Reagor, Powell, Harry, and Jackson.

DL Jonathan Bullard

DL Jonathan Bullard
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings defensive line room is an interesting one. It seems that they intend on getting younger at the position with Khyiris Tonga being listed as the starting nose tackle along with the draft selection of Jaquelin Roy out of LSU.

At the end of the day, it may come down to exactly how many players they keep at other positions (RB, CB, TE, WR) for whether or not Bullard ends up making the team. Last year, the defensive end started seven games in Minnesota and was one of the few reliable run-stopping presences on the front.

However, when you take into account players like Tonga, Roy, Harrison Phillips, Dean Lowry, and 2022 draft pick Esezi Otomewo, the places on the roster dwindle very quickly.

IOL Chris Reed

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Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Chris Reed (62) performs a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Reed has been on NFI since the start of training camp, and we have yet to see him practice this summer. As a result, the Vikings have switched Blake Brandel over to guard and have been exploring options in free agency like Dalton Risner.

Perhaps Reed simply begins the season on IR, but unless he is able to return to practice soon, there is very little evidence that he has earned a spot on the 53-man roster at this point.

OT Oli Udoh

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackles Olisaemeka Udoh (74) and Brian O’Neill (75) perform a drill during training camp at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

With Brandel switching to guard, the hope was that Vederian Lowe and Oli Udoh would be able to hold down the fort at the backup tackle positions. While Lowe has filled his end of the bargain, Udoh has had plenty of struggles to this point in camp.

The most recent preseason game vs. the Tennessee Titans was Exhibit A of these struggles with multiple penalties called on him and a pair of sacks allowed (it was reminiscent of Udoh’s days at right guard). Perhaps this final week of camp can save him, but things are trending in the wrong direction for the veteran offensive lineman.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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