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Vikings claim linebacker off waivers from Giants, sign 13 players to practice squad

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New York Giants inside linebacker Ryan Connelly (57) defends during a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Vikings claimed linebacker Ryan Connelly off waivers on Sunday after the New York Giants released him a day earlier. The 24-year-old played college football at Wisconsin and was selected by the Giants in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.
Connelly, who is from Eden Prairie, Minn., played in four games and made three starts for the Giants last year before suffering a torn ACL against Washington that ended his season. He had 20 tackles, two interceptions and a sack. The Vikings kept five linebackers in their final cut down on Saturday, including backups Troy Dye and Hardy Nickerson. Nickerson was put on waivers to make room for Connelly.
The Vikings also placed rookies safety Myles Dorn on injured reserve. Dorn was placed on waivers on Saturday.
The team also began putting together its 16-man practice squad, signing 13 players to that unit.  The list includes rookie fullback Jake Bargas; rookie offensive tackle Blake Brandel; first-year quarterback Jake Browning; fourth-year offensive lineman Aviante Collins; first-year tight end Brandon Dillon; first-year cornerback Mark Fields II; rookie guard Kyle Hinton; first-year wide receiver Alexander Hollins; sixth-year center Brett Jones; rookie linebacker Blake Lynch; first-year cornerback Nate Meadors; rookie safety Josh Metellus; and rookie quarterback Nate Stanley.
The return of Brandel, Hinton, Metellus and Stanley means the Vikings have retained 14 of their 15 draft picks from 2020. The Vikings kept all nine of their picks in Rounds 1-5 on their 53-man  roster and seventh-round defensive end Kenny Willekes has been placed on injured reserve. The only player no longer in the organization is seventh-round safety Brian Cole II.