Reporting David McCoy
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Vikings finalized their 53-man roster over the weekend as their regular season opener is now less than a week away.
The Vikings open the regular season this Sunday at the Detroit Lions in a pivotal NFC North division match-up. It means some players realized their NFL dream this weekend, while others went home disappointed.
Cut day can be nerve-wracking, but Joe Webb had a plan.
“I did things to take my mind off of it,” Webb said. “I went to the state fair, ate a couple corn dogs and stuff. Watched football and played video games.”
Webb is a receiver in the video game this year and now also in real life, after making the team.
“Hard work and dedication,” Webb attributed for his successful positional transition. “You’ve got to work your craft. That’s our job, as an NFL professional. It’s your guys’ job to go to the office and do what you do, write papers or whatever. But you’ve got to work, you’ve got to work at it. And hard work pays off.”
The same is true for Marcus Sherels, who was on the bubble until he broke off a 109-yard kickoff return touchdown and picked off a pass in the preseason finale.
“He’s done well in the spring as well, so we always knew about Marcus’ ability,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “But those plays definitely helped.”
“You’ve got to leave it all out on the field, that’s what they say,” Sherels said. “Try to make plays. And I took advantage of it during that game.”
Things rarely go quite as expected in the lead-up to the season, even for guys who make the team as expected. That’s true for Desmond Bishop. He did make the team after kind of a rough start to the preseason. But he’s not the starter. In fact, Leslie Frazier said today quite definitively and somewhat surprisingly, it’ll be Marvin Mitchell at outside linebacker.
In the end, the Vikings released 19 players, claimed one off waivers, place one on injured reserve and another on the physically unable to perform list. Minnesota also signed seven players to its practice squad. The Vikings claimed offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb off waivers from the Chicago Bears. They also signed Joe Banyard, Travis Bond, Everett Dawkins, Chase Ford, Kevin Murphy, Rodney Smith and Adam Thielen to the practice squad. On Monday, they rounded out their practice squad by signing defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo out of Fresno State.
Offensive lineman Seth Olsen placed on injured reserve after being carted off the field Thursday night with a head injury, and Greg Childs is on the PUP list after tearing the patellar tendons in both knees during the 2012 training camp. Jerome Felton and DeMarcus Love are suspended to start the season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
In something of a surprise, Antoine Winfield decided to retire from the NFL this weekend after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. Former Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers, was picked up by the Cleveland Browns and made their 53-man roster.
Here are the other players who were released by the Vikings over the weekend: