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Vikings put LB Gedeon on PUP; 9 draft picks on active roster

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings placed linebacker Ben Gedeon on the physically unable to perform list Saturday as part of their paring the roster down for the regular season.

Gedeon, a fourth-year player who was in the starting lineup in the base 4-3 defense for 22 games over the past three seasons, has been waiting for clearance to practice after concussion symptoms dogged him in 2019 and limited him to eight games.

The Vikings waived 22 players, with the majority of them expected to be part of the expanded 16-man practice squad. None of the cuts were considered surprising. Backup center Brett Jones was the only vested veteran who had his contract terminated, leaving 2019 first-round draft pick Garrett Bradbury as the lone center among nine offensive linemen kept on the initial 53-man roster. Right guard Pat Elflein played center his first two seasons in the league. Aviante Collins was also let go, meaning Dakota Dozier will be the starter at left guard.

The Vikings had 15 draft picks this year, the most in the NFL since the event was reduced to seven rounds in 1994, and nine of them made the active roster. Defensive end Kenny Willekes, a seventh-rounder, was placed injured reserve with a lower body injury earlier in the week. All of the draft picks they waived were sixth or seventh-round selections.

The only undrafted rookie to make the initial roster was wide receiver Dan Chisena, a late-blooming track and field star at Penn State who spent some time at safety during training camp but switched back to offense this week. Chisena was one of seven wide receivers retained, including two other rookies, first-round pick Justin Jefferson and fifth-round selection K.J. Osborn, who is on track to be the primary punt returner.

Adam Thielen, Bisi Johnson, Tajaé Sharpe and Chad Beebe are the other wide receivers on the roster, with the Vikings trying to overcome the departure via trade of Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings waived quarterbacks Jake Browning and Nate Stanley, leaving Sean Mannion as the only backup on the roster behind Kirk Cousins, but at least one of them will surely land on the practice squad. Both Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone made the roster behind Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, giving the Vikings four tailbacks plus Pro Bowl fullback C.J. Ham.

Boosted by the acquisition last weekend of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings still kept 11 defensive linemen. They retained six cornerbacks at the youngest position on their team, too, with Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd and Harrison Hand all 23 years old or younger. Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris are the only safeties for now, but a backup will more than likely be signed this week as teams adjust their initial rosters after surveying the pool of players let go across the league. The Vikings host Green Bay in their season opener Sept. 13.