Vikings Rumors: Former safety could return to Minnesota

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) George Iloka
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) George Iloka /

Free-agent safety George Iloka could be returning to the Minnesota Vikings.

Before Anthony Harris was able to emerge as the definitive second starting safety for the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, the team had hopes that an old friend of Mike Zimmer’s could be the one to provide some help in the secondary.

After getting let go by the Cincinnati Bengals before the start of the 2018 season, safety George Iloka was able to reunite with Zimmer, his former defensive coordinator, in Minnesota. Some felt Iloka would be able to crack the starting lineup with the Vikings. But during his only year with the team, he only managed to start a total of three games.

Iloka is currently a free agent and it’s been reported in the recent past that Minnesota could be interested in bringing him back for a second stint with the team. On Tuesday, it seems like that interest is much higher.

Vikings Rumors: George Iloka could be back in purple soon

According to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson on Tuesday, Iloka is currently in the Twin Cities and he will stick around for a bit to take a COVID-19 test. Wolfson says if the safety is able to pass his test, then he could be back on the Vikings roster as early as later this week.

This is coming after a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers in which Minnesota’s defense gave up 522 yards. The majority of the Vikings’ current secondary is filled with youth and inexperience, so adding a veteran safety like Iloka could help fix some of the defense’s problems before they get out of control.

During his lone season with Minnesota, Iloka appeared in all 16 games and he finished with 16 tackles and one forced fumble. That year, however, most of his time out on the field was spent on special teams.

If the Vikings were to re-sign Iloka, he would likely spend a lot of his time on special teams once again. But Minnesota would also probably use him in a role similar to how they utilized Jayron Kearse last year by mixing him in the defense more often and having him line up at multiple spots on the field.

Trending. 4 takeaways from the Vikings loss to the Packers in Week 1. light

Iloka is very familiar with the Vikings defensive scheme and he’s not going to cost a lot to sign, so the risk of bringing him back is low. If he does return, hopefully, he can help get Minnesota’s defense back on track.