The Vikings finally have a backup safety. They’ve signed Cheap Nate Meadors Jersey to the active roster to take the spot of Cheap Danielle Hunter Jersey, who will spend at least three weeks on injured reserve.
The team also announced that it is elevating linebacker Cheap Hardy Nickerson Jr. Jersey from the practice squad to the active roster. This years, teams can have 55 players on the active roster for each game, instead of the typical 53. However, only 48 can actually be active on gameday.
Meadors began his Vikings career as a cornerback and is listed broadly as a “defensive back” by the team, but he played almost exclusively at safety during training camp. Meadors was able to hold off rookies Cheap Josh Metellus Jersey, Cheap Brian Cole II Jersey and Cheap Myles Dorn Jersey – as well as waiver addition Steven Parker – to win the No. 3 safety job.
After going undrafted out of UCLA in 2019, Meadors impressed as a rookie and spent most of last year on the Vikings’ practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster for a Week 2 game against the Packers and gave up a touchdown to Geronimo Allison. That was as a cornerback. The Vikings believe that the 5’11” Meadors has more upside at safety.
It was very interesting when the Vikings released their initial 53-man roster and stars Cheap Harrison Smith Jersey and Cheap Anthony Harris Jersey were the only safeties listed. But it was always assumed that there would be a move coming prior to Week 1. “We won’t go into a game with two safeties, trust me,” Mike Zimmer said on Friday.
If things go to plan, Smith and Harris will play every single defensive snap on Sunday and Meadors will only potentially play on special teams. But if Smith or Harris need to miss any snaps for whatever reason, it’ll be Meadors out there in their place.
Nickerson was signed by the Vikings during training camp. He has played in 37 games with the Bengals over the past three years and was able to quickly adapt to the Vikings’ defensive scheme. He made the initial roster as the No. 5 linebacker but immediately lost that spot to waiver claim Cheap Ryan Connelly Jersey and was signed to the practice squad.
The Vikings now have 54 players on the active roster heading into a big Week 1 game against the Packers. They’ll have to name six inactives on Sunday morning to get down to 48 players for the game. It wouldn’t surprise me if Connelly was inactive since he’s been with the team for less than a week and has only had three practices to get acclimated.
If Connelly is inactive, the two backup linebackers behind Cheap Eric Kendricks Jersey, Cheap Anthony Barr Jersey, and Cheap Eric Wilson Jersey would be Cheap Troy Dye Jersey and Nickerson. Both of those players would be most likely to contribute on special teams.