Vikings Cut Former 1st-Round WR After Suffering Injury in Preseason

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

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

The Minnesota Vikings’ experiment with former first-round wide receiver N’Keal Harry is over.

Harry suffered a lower-body injury during warmups for Saturday’s preseason matchup with the Tennessee Titans and did not play.

He has not practiced since and was questionable for Saturday’s preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Harry was released on Wednesday, August 24, per the NFL transaction wire.

The 32nd overall pick by the New England Patriots in 2019, Harry has secured 64 receptions for 714 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons in New England and a year with the Chicago Bears.

Minnesota signed former Los Angeles Rams safety Jake Gervase to fill Harry’s roster spot. The Vikings must trim their 90-man roster down to 53 players by August 29.

N’Keal Harry’s Vikings Training Camp Wasn’t Finished Before Abrupt Injury

Addressing Harry’s injury the day before his release, head coach Kevin O’Connell hinted that Harry would likely not be able to play for Saturday’s final preseason matchup.

“N’Keal Harry did suffer a lower-body, soft-tissue (injury) the other night at U.S. Bank Stadium,” O’Connell said in an August 23 media conference. “Hoping to try to see if he can work through it, but it might be tough to get him for the game.”

Sure enough, Harry was released less than 24 hours later.

The former first-round pick was on the roster bubble but was having an exceptional training camp. At 6-foot-4, he offered a lengthy frame that shined in the red zone and on contested catches.

It was still a long shot for Harry to make the final roster, but he was definitely worthy of another week of evaluation, which he missed out on due to his injury.

Justin JeffersonK.J. Osborn and Jordan Addison and Jalen Nailor appear are locks for the 53-man roster, while Jalen Reagor, Brandon Powell, Trishton Jackson, Thayer Thomas and Blake Proehl are on the bubble for one or two more spots.

The Vikings will now use Harry’s roster spot to see if Gervase can help bolster the special teams unit.

Jake Gervase an Old Friend of Kevin O’Connell

Undrafted out of Iowa in 2019, Gervase spent the past four seasons in Los Angeles, where he crossed paths with O’Connell from 2020 to 2021.

Gervase has appeared in 19 regular-season games in his career and was a special teams contributor in all four postseason games during the Rams’ Super Bowl run in 2021. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Gervase was a redshirt senior in 2018 and tied for second in the Big Ten and ranked 16th nationally with four interceptions. He also led the Hawkeyes in tackles with 89, including 49 solo tackles, and tied for the team lead in pass breakups (seven) and interceptions (four).

It may be too late for Gervase to pick up Brian Flores’ scheme in a matter of two days, but he could be deployed as a gunner on Saturday against the Cardinals. In the long term, Gervase has shown some versatility as a player, lining up at inside linebacker as well.

Meanwhile, Minnesota will likely give 2021 first-round pick Lewis Cine as many reps as he can handle alongside Theo Jackson.

Harrison Smith, Cam Bynum and Josh Metellus are all expected to be rested for the final preseason game.

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