Updated: September 3rd, 2011 5:12pm
53-man roster breakdown: Ryan Cook, Chris DeGeare among surprise cuts

53-man roster breakdown: Ryan Cook, Chris DeGeare among surprise cuts

by Tom Pelissero
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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."

Other mild surprises on the 53-man roster included linebacker Larry Dean and tight end Allen Reisner.

Linebacker Jasper Brinkley (hip surgery) was placed on injured reserve. Another roster spot was free because defensive tackle Kevin Williams is suspended for the first two games of the season.

Two veteran role players, linebacker Heath Farwell and tight end Jeff Dugan, headed the list of 19 cuts that were known before the Vikings officially announced them.

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.

Quarterbacks (3)

In: Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder, Joe Webb.

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)

In: Lorenzo Booker, Toby Gerhart, Adrian Peterson.

Out: Matt Asiata, Tristan Davis, Ryan D'Imperio, Caleb King, Alexander Robinson.

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.

Receivers (5)

In: Greg Camarillo, Devin Aromashodu, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Michael Jenkins.

Out: Emmanuel Arceneaux, Stephen Burton, Juaquin Iglesias, Jaymar Johnson.

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)

In: Jimmy Kleinsasser, Allen Reisner, Kyle Rudolph, Visanthe Shiancoe.

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)

In: Patrick Brown, Jon Cooper, Brandon Fusco, Anthony Herrera, Steve Hutchinson, Charlie Johnson, Phil Loadholt, DeMarcus Love, Seth Olsen, John Sullivan.

Out: Ryan Cook, Chris DeGeare, Byron Isom, Thomas Welch.

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)

In: Jared Allen, Adrian Awasom, Remi Ayodele, Christian Ballard, Fred Evans, Everson Griffen, Letroy Guion, D'Aundre Reed, Brian Robison, Kevin Williams (suspended).

Out: David Akinniyi, Tremaine Johnson, Cedric McKinley, Stylez G. White.

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.

Linebackers (5)

In: Larry Dean, Chad Greenway, E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson, Kenny Onatolu.

Out: Jasper Brinkley (injured reserve), Heath Farwell, David Herron, Ross Homan.

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)

In: Husain Abdullah, Asher Allen, Brandon Burton, Chris Cook, Eric Frampton, Cedric Griffin, Tyrell Johnson, Mistral Raymond, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Sherels, Antoine Winfield.

Out: Tony Carter, Ryan Hill, Cord Parks, Devon Torrence.

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.

Specialists (3)

In (3): Chris Kluwe, Cullen Loeffler, Ryan Longwell.

The skinny: No surprises here.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Husain Abdullah, David Akinniyi, Asher Allen, Jared Allen, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Devin Aromashodu, Matt Asiata, Adrian Awasom, Remi Ayodele, Christian Ballard, Bernard Berrian, Lorenzo Booker, Jasper Brinkley, Patrick Brown, Brandon Burton, Stephen Burton, Greg Camarillo, Ryan Cook, Chris Cook, Jon Cooper, Ryan D'Imperio, Tristan Davis, Larry Dean, Chris DeGeare, Jeff Dugan, Fred Evans, Heath Farwell, Eric Frampton, Leslie Frazier, Brandon Fusco, Toby Gerhart, Chad Greenway, Everson Griffen, Cedric Griffin, Letroy Guion, Percy Harvin, E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson, Anthony Herrera, Ryan Hill, Ross Homan, Steve Hutchinson, Juaquin Iglesias, Byron Isom, Michael Jenkins, Tremaine Johnson, Charlie Johnson, Tyrell Johnson, Jaymar Johnson, Caleb King, Jimmy Kleinsasser, Chris Kluwe, Phil Loadholt, Cullen Loeffler, Ryan Longwell, DeMarcus Love, Cedric McKinley, Donovan McNabb, Seth Olsen, Kenny Onatolu, Cord Parks, Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Mistral Raymond, D'Aundre Reed, Allen Reisner, Alexander Robinson, Brian Robison, Kyle Rudolph, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Sherels, Visanthe Shiancoe, John Sullivan, Devon Torrence, Joe Webb, Thomas Welch, Stylez G. White, Kevin Williams, Antoine Winfield