The calendar has finally turned to November, and that of course means EVERYONE SHUT UP, FOOTBALL IS ON. Or, it's almost on. It's only the first week of September. But that first week does mean we are one step closer to the opening of the regular season, and with that, the Vikings have finalized their 53-man roster for the year. In essence, this final 53 is the group of guys that will make or break this team this year, or the more likely scenario, do just enough to bring shoulder shrugs.
So we have to ask, how does this team stack up? Who was cut that shouldn't have been? Who was kept on the team that should have been cut? We dig in and give our little, worthless review of who makes up the 2013 Minnesota Vikings:
Adrian Peterson: Whoa! Can you believe this guy made the team?! He barely got any burn in the preseason, and when was given the opportunity, he didn't even get to run the ball. He really must have shown something in camp to impress the coaches though to make the team.
Zach Line: Being listed on the team as the fourth running back, it's a bit surprising Line made the team. He showed up well during the preseason, but was probably a long shot to make the final roster. The suspension of Jerome Felton certainly helped his changes, as did being a white running back. The Vikings apparently love those.
Joe Webb: Perhaps more surprising than anything is the fact that the Vikings only kept five wide receivers, with the fifth one being Joe Webb. Webb is still pretty raw in route running, but a potential red zone threat. However, was he really any better than Stephen Burton?
Mike Mauti: The only reason I'm surprised by this is the fact that he's more machine than man now, with his three ACL injury rehabs. I was expecting when the team drafted him that they would try to stash him on IR, PUP, or IDGAF List, but he performed so well in the preseason that there would be no way to sneak him through to the Practice Squad or not use his talents. Nice showing brought him to the roster.
Sad Time Cuts:
Joe Banyard: Joe showed some great skills that the Vikings otherwise do not have on the roster (outside of All-Everything Peterson). He had some nice shiftiness and quicksteps that make Toby Gerhart look like a lumbering rhinoceros in heat. Banyard did make it back to the practice squad, so maybe he'll show up again later.
Bobby Felder: It appears that Felder was possibly cut in the roster trim down because of an injury, which landed him on the injured reserved list instead of the active roster. This is probably an acceptable move, because Felder showed up big during this preseason. If he was cut due to numbers so we could keep Sherels or AJ Jefferson, we would have had a riot, I swear.
Adam Thielen: Another practice squad make, Thielen stole the purple hearts of Vikings fans everywhere because he was a local kid from Mankato trying to make it to the NFL. He did show some nice potential talent, but if it ever translates to the big leagues, we'll see.
Why You Still Heres?!
Christian Ponder: The most obvious "Huh?!" selection on the team has to be Ponder. He made it?! I mean, are we even basing these selections on preseason performance? Thank god Matt Cassel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson made the squad, because we do probably need at least one quasi-legit quarterback on the team. This is a definite head scratcher though.
Josh Robinson: This is the guy who is supposed to be replacing Antoine Winfield in the lineup, somehow. It's not like if the team were to cut him that there would be any other options for us to slide someone else into the position, but holy God … If anyone still thinks that our defense won't lack because of Robinson's presence over Winfield, you're gonna have a bad time.
Toby Gerhart: Seriously, whhyyyyyy. He's making so much money and bringing less than Joe Banyard. I do not understand what Gerhart is doing in purple still. My heart gently weeps.
What were your surprise cuts? Let's hear in the comments.