May 3, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the sidelines as players run drills at the Vikings rookie minicamp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Waive DE Spencer Nealy, Sign TE Mike Higgins

Teams normally do a lot of roster shuffling right before the start of camp and the Vikings are no exception. On Wednesday the team made a move we’ve been expecting, waiving DE Spencer Nealy who recently was hit with a four-game suspension for PEDs.

Nealy was a long-shot to make the team but might have hung on as a practice squad player. Now he’ll have to seek employment elsewhere.

To fill the vacancy left by Nealy, the Vikings have signed TE Mike Higgins. The 26-year-old former Saint has 2 career receptions for 1 yard. He played his college ball for Nebraska-Omaha and was originally signed by the Saints in 2011 as an undrafted free agent.

Higgins provides another warm body at tight end as the Vikings try to sort out who will fill out the depth chart behind starter Kyle Rudolph. Chase Ford and A.C. Leonard are both intriguing prospects at that position. They also have Allen Reisner and Rhett Ellison, the latter of whom might end up playing more of a fullback/H-back role.

Don’t be surprised if more shuffling takes place in the hours leading up to the opening of camp. Players begin reporting starting Thursday with the first practices scheduled for Friday.

The full camp schedule is available on Vikings.com.

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