The Vikings Add O-Line Depth in Response to a Flurry of Injuries

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are dealing with a number of o-line injuries as they roar ahead to Week 15.

Right guard Ed Ingram had to sit out of Sunday’s contest against the Raiders because of a hip injury while both Brian O’Neill and Dalton Risner had to leave the game because of ankle injuries. All three players were on Tuesday’s injury report, and as a response to the flurry of injuries, Minnesota has made the decision to add more offensive line depth on Wednesday morning.

The Vikings Add O-Line Depth

O-Line
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 18: The Minnesota Vikings offense lines up against the Atlanta Falcons defense during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

That depth comes in the form of Henry Byrd, who will join the Vikings practice squad this week. Minnesota announced the decision via a tweet, which read, “The #Vikings have signed OL Henry Byrd to the practice squad.”

Byrd entered the NFL this spring as an undrafted free agent after spending five years and four football seasons (no games were played in 2020) with the Princeton Tigers of the Ivy League. Primarily playing at the left tackle position, Byrd was named First-Team All-Ivy in both 2021 and 2022 while earning a second-team selection during his sophomore year of 2019.

However, due to Byrd’s smaller size at 6’5″ and 310 pounds, the assumption was that he would make the move inside to guard at the NFL level. His first job in the NFL came with the Denver Broncos, who signed him as an UDFA back in April.

August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos guard Henry Byrd (66) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Byrd played in Denver’s preseason games this summer, but the Broncos made the decision to waive him on the roster cutdown date, and he once again entered free agency. He remained there until November when the San Francisco 49ers picked him up on November 7th.

The 49ers would not utilize Byrd in a game, though, and three weeks later on November 28th, he was released from the team and entered free agency again. Now, the Vikings will hope he can provide some added depth to the banged up interior offensive line.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler (32) celebrates with Minnesota Vikings guard Ed Ingram (67) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings listed both Ingram and Risner as limited on Tuesday’s injury report while O’Neill was a DNP. However, it should be noted that the injury report was merely an estimate as Minnesota only conducted a walk-through yesterday.

The true extent of Minnesota’s injuries should become more clear on Wednesday and Thursday in their final two injury reports before Saturday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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.

Share: