It looks like the Vikings had a plan when they moved on from safeties Kurt Coleman, Chris Crocker, Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond.
The bloodbath at safety led some to speculate that Minnesota could pick someone up off waivers but instead the Vikings are going to beef up their safety depth by shifting one of their cornerbacks.
Or at least they are going to try this approach.
As of Monday, it looks like Shaun Prater will be switching positions at least on an experimental basis:
One interesting note: Shaun Prater was working with the safety group in position breakout, instead of CBs. #Vikings
— Brian Hall (@MNBrianHall) September 1, 2014
Mike Zimmer hinted at this move when remarking on Prater after the preseason finale.
Zimmer on Prater: "He’s a tough, feisty kid that can do a lot of jobs…look at him some at safety just because of his temperament."
— Brian Hall (@MNBrianHall) August 26, 2014
It must be emphasized that, as of now, we have no idea how committed the Vikings are to this move. If Prater doesn’t show Zimmer what he wants to see at safety, someone new could still be brought in.
The door is also still open on Kurt Coleman or Chris Crocker being brought back after week 1. A veteran player who is on the roster week 1 has his salary fully guaranteed, but waiting until after week 1 to sign one of those players back would mean the Vikes could pay them the veteran minimum on a non-guaranteed basis.
Mistral Raymond and Jamarca Sanford are both gone after being placed on IR. No return from IR is possible with either player as neither was designated to return at the time he was put on IR. Either man could still be cut from IR with an injury settlement, but neither would be allowed to re-sign with the Vikings.
As of now, the Vikings have Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton, Andrew Sendejo, Antone Exum and, at least for one practice session, Shaun Prater at safety. We’ll see if it stays that way.