The Final 53 and the Minnesota Vikings. Final cuts to the regular-season roster have to be announced by 3 p.m. Saturday, then the 10-player practice squad is established. The goal here is to tab all 53 on whom we are counting when we head to St. Louis, but the thing that could jack it up is if we add cut players from other teams. this is compiled/predicted off watching games multiple times, chatting with those I respect who follow this team and My Football Mind. Let’s give it a whirl:
QB: CASSEL, BRIDGEWATER, PONDER (three and three total). This is a no-brainer and I don’t expect the team to trade Christian before the Rams game.
RB: ADRIAN, ASIATA, MCKINNON, FELTON (four/seven). Some will cry RB JOE BANYARD should replace Asiata in this spot but need to be reminded he did all of his damage against deep reserves for other teams. I like Joe but there’s no room for him. Asiata Had two very good regular-season games last year and held his own versus “ones” this preseason.
TE: RUDOLPH, ELLISON, REISNER. (three/10). Allen did very well this preseason and CHASE FORD kept getting hurt and didn’t play. This is a tough call and we could nab a cut TE from another team, but Reisner gets the money.
WR: JENNINGS, PATTERSON, WRIGHT, SIMPSON, THIELEN, SMITH (six/16). They don’t want to lose Rodney Smith to another team and will need five WRs during Simpson’s suspension. My people tell me Smith struggles mightily most of the offseason but came to life the last month. My guess is he charged his way on to the roster.
OL: KALIL, JOHNSON, SULLIVAN, FUSCO, LOADHOLT, BERGER, YANKEY, WENTWORTH (eight/24). DUCASSE is a possibility and so is TINY RICHARDSON. Back-up OL is a definite possibility when it comes to finding cut players. If they keep Richardson I would not be surprised.
DL: GRIFFEN, ROBISON, WOOTTON, CRICHTON, JOHNSON, JOSEPH, FLOYD, EVANS, STEPHEN (nine/33). Seventh-round pick Shamar Stephen is one of the best stories on the squad. He started games, made plays and has been a wonderful addition. No chance he goes to the practice squad.
LB: GREENWAY, BRINKLEY, BARR, HODGES, COLE, WATTS (six/39) Despite injury during the preseason I don’t think they want to chance Watts to the practice squad where he may get claimed by another team. Tough jettisoning LARRY DEAN but the feeling is ZIMMER wants guys on whom he can count to play LB in a pinch, and that might not be Larry. Definitely could be wrong about Dean.
DB: RHODES, MUNNERLYN, ROBINSON, SHERELS, PRATER, PRICE, SMITH, BLANTON, SENDEJO, COLEMAN, CROCKER (11/50) Can’t try and slip Jabari Price to the practice squad in my opinion because the team will lose him and would not be happy about it. Can’t keep SANFORD and Sendejo. Crocker knows Zimmer’s defense. Robinson struggled mightily this preseason but was slated to be a starter just a month ago. Josh stays.
SPECIALISTS: LOEFFLER, WALSH, LOCKE
That’s my Final 53. No hard feelings. Nothing personal; it's business.