The Vikings Make Multiple Roster Moves, Including Signing LB to 53-Man Roster

Shelley as a Starter
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and linebacker William Kwenkeu. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Vikings announced that they were signing rookie cornerback Kalon Barnes off the Miami Dolphins practice squad to their 53-man roster. Well, as it turns out, the Vikings weren’t done there. As Wednesday played out, we saw the Vikings make multiple roster moves, including signing LB William Kwenkeu to the 53-man roster.

In weeks 12 and 13, the Vikings elevated Kwenkeu from the practice squad, and he ended up being a special teams provider in each of those weeks. The rookie played a total of 30 snaps between the two weeks.

If he needed to make a case that he was valuable to the special teams in those two weeks, Week 14 ended up being just that. Without him being elevated for that game, the Vikings gave up a 40-yard run on a fake punt, and they allowed Kalif Raymond to return a punt 35 yards.

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Prior to this signing, the Vikings would have only been able to elevated Kwenkeu from the practice squad one more time. Now, they don’t have to worry about that, and they can run him out there on special teams, and perhaps with the defense, whenever they want.

Additionally, to no one’s surprise, the Vikings put backup left tackle Blake Brandel on IR following his torn MCL that he suffered in Week 14. In his stead, Oli Udoh finished that game, but now, Christian Darrisaw appears ready to make his return after missing three consecutive games with a concussion. He did not appear on Tuesday’s first injury report, so all signs point to him returning to his starting spot on Saturday.

And, finally, the Vikings replaced Kwenkeu on their practice squad with another defender: DT Sheldon Day. If anyone reading this is anything like me, you probably got excited reading “DT Sheldon”, assuming that this report concerned Sheldon Richardson.

But no, this defensive lineman is seventh-year pro Sheldon Day, who is yet to appear in a game during the 2022 season. Prior to 2022, Day spent his first six seasons jumping between four teams after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s made appearances for Jacksonville, San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Cleveland, playing 67 games.

Throughout those 67 games, including three starts, Day recorded 76 tackles, 14 TFLs, 7.0 sacks, and 7 pass defenses. Now, on a Vikings defensive front that needs help creating pressure on opposing QBs, Day looks to be a rotational piece over the closing portion of the season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.