It’s one of the busiest days of the NFL calendar year as teams across the league figure out which players make their 53-man rosters. There have already been several surprising cuts across the league, but one of the bigger stories in Minnesota revolves around another injury in the wide receiver room.
Chad Beebe was already likely on the bubble of the 53-man roster, but the injury isn’t going to do him any favors. Beebe isn’t the first Vikings’ receiver to come down with a significant injury, as both Bisi Johnson and Blake Prohel’s year ended in training camp.
The injury news is never fun, especially when it was a potential difference maker in 2021. However, the Vikings still have the option to bring someone in off waivers and have some young depth at the position.
Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are the clear cut one two punch for the Vikings at wide receiver, but the Irv Smith Jr. injury could force the team to run more 11 personnel than they traditionally have in the past.
After Jefferson and Thielen the depth chart gets a lot more uncertain. K.J. Osborn was the talk of training camp and Ihmir Smith-Marsette brings a level of speed to the offense that the team hasn’t seen in several years.
I would say that both Osborn and Smith-Marsette are not only guaranteed to make the roster, but they’ll both more than likely see some meaningful snaps at some point this season. Dede Westbrook will also help fill the void of Beebe, but he hasn’t been seen in live action because of the rehab process on his knee.
The Vikings could still attempt to scoop up another cut wide receiver off waivers, getting them to a possible total of six at the position. The number of players kept on the 53-man roster at wide receiver has changed frequently over the last several seasons, so it’ll likely come down to how comfortable the front office is with what they currently have at the position.
All though there’s a lot of unproven talent behind Jefferson and Thielen, it’s not time to panic yet for Vikings fans. Despite Osborn, Smith-Marsette and Westbrook being fairly unproven in the NFL, it seems likely that they’ll all be given opportunities to help fill the loss of Beebe.
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