Two additions made as Vikings practice squad finalized

By Gil Alcaraz IV

With the 53-man roster set and their 2012 NFL season opener less than a week away, the Minnesota Vikings had only one other major personnel issue to tend to: finalizing the practice squad.

Although the majority of the group was already set within the first two days following final roster cuts, the Vikings practice squad still had two voids to fill as of Monday morning. Those vacancies were filled, though, when Minnesota brought back offensive tackle Kevin Murphy and defensive end Ernest Owusu.

Joining Murphy and Owusu on the Vikings practice squad: defensive tackle Chase Baker, cornerback Bobby Felder, wide receivers Tori Gurley and Chris Summers, guard Tyler Holmes, and running back Jordan Todman.

Todman is an electrifying back who was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. After being waived by the Chargers and re-signed to their practice squad, the Vikings signed him away from San Diego to their active roster near the end of the 2011 season. After spending the last month or so sidelined by an injury, Todman turned in a ferocious preseason finale and could push Vikings’ No. 3 running back Matt Asiata for an active roster spot once at full health.

Gurley was a practice squad player for the Green Bay Packers last year as a rookie. At one point in the season, the Vikings offered to sign him to their active roster off of Packers’ practice squad, but the former South Carolina pass-catcher opted to stay in Wisconsin. Summers is an undrafted rookie out of Liberty who spent time with the Chicago Bears this preseason before falling victim to roster cuts.

It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Vikings bring back Owusu, who was waived during the first round of roster cuts, instead of 2012 seventh-rounder Trevor Guyton. Guyton, who played alongside Owusu at Cal, is the only Vikings 2012 draftee currently not on the roster.

Baker, Felder, Holmes and Murphy are all undrafted rookies who showed potential during the preseason, leading the Vikings to take longer looks at them via the practice squad. All will provide depth at their respective positions, but aren’t likely to receive promotions anytime soon.

These practice squad players will give the Vikings extra bodies on the scout team as they prepare to face whatever their opponents may throw at them week in and week out.

Set to wage war against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 9, the Vikings now appear ready to take their cloudy 2012 season on head first.

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