Vikings Return Heinicke, Waive Pruitt, Keep Walsh

Vikings Return Heinicke, Waive Pruitt, Keep Walsh

Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke is finally healthy again, which is certainly good news.

But, it’s not all good news for Minnesota, as the Vikings were forced to waive second-year tight end MyCole Pruitt to create room for Heinicke on the 53-man roster.

Heinicke was dubbed by many to take over the backup quarterback role behind Teddy Bridgewater entering the season. However, the Old Dominion product suffered a foot injury during the offseason and was forced to miss all of training camp, the preseason and the first eight games of the regular season.

It remains unclear what Heinicke’s role will be upon returning to the team, but one thing is for sure: More depth at the quarterback position is certainly not a bad thing — especially given the beating starter Sam Bradford is taking every week.

To create a spot for Heinicke on the roster, it only made sense to look at the tight end position. Recently-appointed interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s offense rarely utilizes multiple tight ends, so keeping four could be called an unnecessary surplus.

The decision likely came down to Pruitt or rookie David Morgan II, who was a healthy scratch against Detroit this past Sunday. Pruitt’s injury history and Morgan’s potential as a consistent jack-of-all-trades player resulted in the decision to release Pruitt.

It’s a shame, too, because Pruitt showed flashes of unlimited potential in his rookie season. Sure, he only caught 10 passes for 89 yards on the year, but he also possesses a rare combination of size and speed at the tight end position.

Given the fact that Pruitt hasn’t been active yet already past the half way point of the season, it’s a bit surprising that Minnesota didn’t decide to place Pruitt on injured reserve to keep him with the team into next season. There’s a good chance the second-year man out of Southern Illinois is plucked off waivers and finds himself a role elsewhere in the NFL.

As far as the immediate impact for the Vikings, not a whole lot will change. But looking into the future, it’s clear the coaching staff and the front office are high on Morgan’s ability not only as a blocker, but also as a dynamic pass-catcher — which was Pruitt’s calling card.

Overall, the Vikings are definitely still in a good situation at tight end and only improved their situation at quarterback with the move. But letting a talent like Pruitt walk away like that will make the fan base cringe.

That’s what comes with an extremely deep roster loaded with talent.

Vikings to stick with Blair Walsh (for now)

Moments ago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Vikings plan to stick with Blair Walsh as their kicker after working out several possible replacements this week.

This should comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody. The available options just simply aren’t good enough to trust as a replacement for Walsh, especially considering Walsh’s $1.65 million dead cap if he were cut.

The front office and coaching staff’s idea was likely to give Walsh a good kick in the backside and let him know that his job isn’t safe. Sunday’s loss to Detroit was the first one this season in which one (or two) of his misses had a direct effect on the final outcome.

It’s safe to assume that if that scenario were to repeat itself, Walsh might be out of a job. But for now, the Vikings and their fan base are stuck with Walsh.

Drew Mahowald

Drew Mahowald

Drew Mahowald is a student at Saint John's University (MN) pursuing a degree in media communications and a career in sports media. In addition to serving as an assistant editor at the Barroom, Drew also writes about the Minnesota Timberwolves for OnTheProwlMN.com. You can follow Jim Kleinsasser's #1 fan on Twitter at @DrewMahowald.


Tags assigned to this article:
Blair WalshMyCole PruittTaylor Heinicke

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