When the Vikings officially released their 53-man roster the safety position was one of the biggest question marks. Heading into their week one matchup against the Packers Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith were the only listed safeties on the depth chart.
The team announced on Thursday morning that they have now added a familiar face to the practice squad to make up for the lack of depth at the position.
George Iloka played for the Vikings in 2018 and played in all 16 games with his primary role coming on special teams. He totaled 16 tackles and a forced fumble his last time being in Minnesota.
Iloka has familiarity with Mike Zimmer, as he also spent time with him on the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He wasn’t on a roster during the 2019 season, but throughout his seven-year career he has played in 99 games totaling 359 tackles and nine interceptions.
It’s obvious that the Vikings have their starting safeties in Smith and Harris, but the lack of depth behind them was a major concern. Iloka brings a veteran presence that is already comfortable in Zimmer’s system.
Although he is starting out on the practice squad, the new rules allow teams to call up two additional players to their 53-man roster each week.