Vikings bring back Marcus Sherels, place Mike Hughes on IR

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Marcus Sherels
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Marcus Sherels /

As their first-round playoff matchup inches closer, the Minnesota Vikings made some roster moves on Friday that will have an impact on their secondary.

Heading into Sunday’s playoff matchup against the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings appeared to have a fairly healthy roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. However, the health of the Vikings’ defense is apparently a different story.

On Friday, Minnesota announced that cornerback Mackensie Alexander will sit out Sunday’s game and fellow corner Mike Hughes is heading to injured reserve with a neck injury.

To make up for Hughes’ loss in the secondary and as a returner, the Vikings went ahead and re-signed longtime return-man, Marcus Sherels.

In a game where Minnesota is already a big underdog, these injuries in their secondary certainly aren’t going to help their chances. However, the loss of Alexander and Hughes might actually not be as big of a loss for the Vikings against a team like New Orleans.

In terms of wide receivers, the Saints have one of the NFL’s best in Michael Thomas. But outside of Thomas, the next best receiver on New Orleans’ roster is Tedd Ginn, who finished the regular season with just 30 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns.

The Saints will likely be utilizing other players in their passing attack on Sunday including running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook. But the Vikings were likely going to already use defenders like Eric Kendricks and Anthony Harris to cover these two New Orleans pass-catchers.

So while Minnesota being down two members of their secondary for their first-round playoff game isn’t ideal, at least it’s happening during a matchup against a Saints team that isn’t full of wide receiver talent.

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In place of Alexander and Hughes on Sunday, expect the Vikings to give more playing time to guys like Holton Hill and Jayron Kearse. For these two, this week’s game in New Orleans is a great opportunity to prove to Minnesota that they are worth keeping around in 2020.