Vikings Reunite With Former Linebacker, Minnesota Native

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

Personnel work in the NFL is never finished, as indicated by the Minnesota Vikings‘ roster moves this week while they prepare to host the Chicago Bears over the weekend.

On Thursday, the Vikings brought linebacker Ryan Connelly back into the fold, signing their former player and Minnesota native to the practice squad.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the news via Twitter Thursday night.

“#Vikings bring back LB Ryan Connelly on the practice squad,” Tomasson wrote. “The Eden Prairie native was activated off the physically unable to perform list Tuesday and waived Wednesday. But returned after clearing waivers.”

The New York Giants selected Connelly out of the University of Wisconsin during the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He played only four games for the Giants, starting three of those, before the franchise waived him. Connelly tallied 20 tackles, two interceptions and a sack during his time in New York.

The Vikings subsequently added Connelly to their roster, where he served for two seasons as a regular contributor on special teams. Connelly has played in 26 games for Minnesota, appearing in more than 50% of the Vikings’ special teams snaps in both 2021 and 2022.

Connelly Initially Released Along With Fan Favorite Jaylen Twyman

Jaylen Twyman

Courtesy of VikingsThe Vikings released defensive end Jaylen Twyman on October 4, 2022.

The Vikings released Connelly on October 4, the same day the team decided to part ways with defensive end Jaylen Twyman.

Minnesota selected Twyman in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He quickly became a fan favorite after a video/audio recording of his draft call began to circulate online, during which Twyman sobbed tears of joy while speaking with former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.

Then, in June of last year, Twyman was one of several victims in a Washington D.C. shooting. The Vikings described Twyman as being caught “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” when he was shot four times after leaving his aunt’s home. All four gunshot injuries were classified as flesh wounds.

Twyman came through recovery and rehabilitation in time to earn a spot on Minnesota’s practice squad before the team ultimately decided to waive him on Tuesday.

Vikings Send Safety Lewis Cine to Injured Reserve List

Lewis Cine

GettySafety Lewis Cine of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during a preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Also part of the Vikings’ roster moves on Tuesday was the designation of safety Lewis Cine to the injured reserve (IR) list.

Cine suffered a lower leg injury during a game against the New Orleans Saints in London last weekend. The 2022 first-round draft pick was carted off of the field and later diagnosed by doctors with a broken leg, which will cost the defensive back the rest of the season.

Before bringing Connelly back, the Vikings signed rookie safety Mike Brown on Wednesday to replace Cine. Brown caught on with Minnesota during the offseason as an undrafted free agent, but was cut before the team finalized its roster.

Brown spent a short stint with the Green Bay Packers‘ practice squad before rejoining the Vikings’ practice squad this week. His best chance earn elevation to the active roster and see the field is as a member of the special teams unit.

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