53-man roster breakdown: Ryan Cook, Chris DeGeare among surprise cuts
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The Minnesota Vikings' roster cutdown included a big shakeup of its backup offensive linemen.
The team announced 25 cuts on Saturday afternoon, including offensive linemen Ryan Cook and Chris DeGeare, while four other offensive linemen on the bubble -- Patrick Brown, Seth Olsen and rookies Brandon Fusco and DeMarcus Love -- all made the 53-man roster.
DeGeare and Cook both were in the mix to start at right guard during training camp. But neither did much to distinguish himself, Anthony Herrera was deemed healthy enough to start and Brown, Olsen, Love and Fusco apparently showed enough the Vikings weren't willing to risk putting them on waivers.
"I am surprised by the move the Vikings made (Saturday)," Cook said. "I felt as though I had a great training camp and a productive preseason. I am looking forward to new opportunities in the future. I wish the Vikings organization and the Wilf family the best, and would also like to thank the fans for all their support during my five years as a Viking."
The complete list of cuts includes: end David Akinniyi, receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, fullback Matt Asiata, receiver Stephen Burton, cornerback Tony Carter, Cook, halfback Tristan Davis, fullback Ryan D'Imperio, DeGeare, Dugan, Farwell, linebacker David Herron, safety Ryan Hill, linebacker Ross Homan, offensive lineman Byron Isom, halfback Caleb King, receiver Juaquin Iglesias, receiver Jaymar Johnson, defensive tackle Tremaine Johnson, defensive lineman Cedric McKinley, defensive back Cord Parks, halfback Alexander Robinson, cornerback Devon Torrence, offensive lineman Thomas Welch and end Stylez G. White.
""I'm excited about the makeup and character of our 53-man roster as we prepare for the 2011 regular season," coach Leslie Frazier said in a statement issued on the team's Web site.
"It's extremely difficult to tell players that we are going in a different direction without them. It's especially hard when they are veterans that have been quality players and starters for us over the years and have been a big part of our team, on and off the field. They are good people and good players and we wish them the best in the future."
Parks, who turned an ankle on Thursday's preseason finale, was waived with an injury settlement.
As with all rosters, the Vikings' 53 is anything but final. Players waived on Saturday can be claimed until Sunday, at which point another smaller group of players will hit waivers until Monday.
The skinny: The only question here was whether Ponder or Webb would be the No. 2 quarterback. The answer will come when the Vikings resume practice on Monday.
Running backs (3)
The skinny: The Vikings decided to go without a fullback, at least for now. They plan to bring back Asiata and D'Imperio on the practice squad if they clear waivers.
The skinny: Johnson failed to win the punt return job. The Vikings likely would bring back Arceneaux and Burton on the practice squad if they clear waivers.
Tight ends (4)
Out: Jeff Dugan.
The skinny: Reisner showed enough catching the ball in camp the Vikings weren't willing to put him on waivers. He took the spot of Dugan, who was entering the last year of his contract at age 30.
Offensive linemen (10)
The skinny: The Vikings apparently felt more comfortable with Brown as their top backup tackle than DeGeare, who moved from right guard after the first preseason game and missed Thursday's preseason finale with a concussion. Love and Fusco both stuck as developmental players.
Defensive linemen (9/10)
The skinny: The Vikings had the flexibility to retain Reed because Williams won't count against the 53-man limit until his suspension ends on Sept. 19. Evans stuck in part because the Vikings are light on options at nose tackle.
The skinny: Cutting Farwell makes the Vikings younger and less experienced on special teams. Dean, the undrafted rookie, got the nod despite two penalties on special teams in Thursday's preseason finale.
Defensive backs (11)
The skinny: Allen stuck despite missing extended time with a toe injury. It's still unclear if the strong safety will be Johnson or Sanford, who appeared to have the edge late in the preseason and also brings more value on special teams.
The skinny: No surprises here.