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Vikings sign veteran linebacker to 53-man roster, place Troy Dye on injured reserve

Todd Davis
Denver Broncos inside linebacker Todd Davis (51) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Vikings signed veteran linebacker Todd Davis on Thursday and placed backup Troy Dye on injured reserve. Dye was the second Minnesota linebacker to go on IR this week, joining Anthony Barr. Both Dye and Barr were injured in the Vikings’ loss Sunday at Indianapolis.
Barr tore his pectoral muscle and is lost for the season, while Dye injured his foot.
Davis, an undrafted free agent, began his career with the Saints in 2014 and finished that season with the Denver Broncos. He has played in 85 regular-season games and made 63 starts in his six-year career. Eighty-two of those games have been with the Broncos. He was a member of Denver’s Super Bowl winning team in 2015 and became a starter the next season. Davis has appeared in four postseason games.
Davis led the team and finished tied for eighth in the NFL in 2019 with 134 tackles, despite missing the opening two games of the season. The 28-year-old played two seasons for current Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, who coached the Broncos to their most recent Super Bowl victory. Denver released Davis in the final cutdown.
The Vikings also added a linebacker earlier this week when they promoted Hardy Nickerson from the practice squad. Nickerson was in for 14 special teams snaps in the Vikings’ loss to Green Bay in Week 1 after he was promoted for that game. Nickerson then returned to the practice squad. Eric Kendricks and Eric Wilson will start for the Vikings on Sunday against Tennessee, but it remains to be seen whom the third linebacker will be in the base defense.
While the Vikings were trying to add depth at linebacker, the team’s injury issues at cornerback grew worse on Thursday. Kris Boyd was added to the injury report because of a hamstring issue, joining Mike Hughes (neck) and Cameron Dantzler (ribs). The latter two did not practice for a second consecutive day and are unlikely to be available on Sunday.
Boyd was next up on the depth chart with Hughes and Dantzler out. If Boyd can’t go, the Vikings would have to use a combination of Holton Hill, Jeff Gladney, Harrison Hand and/or Mark Fields II. Hand was a fifth-round pick by the Vikings in April out of Temple, and Fields II was traded to the Vikings by Kansas City in August 2019 for a seventh-round draft pick. Fields has bounced between the Vikings’ active roster and their practice squad.
Running back Mike Boone (concussion) and left tackle Riley Reiff (ankle) were limited in practice on Thursday.