FOX Sports North takes a look at several members of the Minnesota Vikings who could be on shaky ground heading into the 2017 season.
Willie Beavers, G
Beavers was released in 2016 after underperforming in training camp despite costing the Vikings a fourth-round pick. He spent some time on the practice squad before injuries on the offensive line forced him into action in late September but appeared in just two games, both in a backup role. The Vikings are bringing in help wherever they can find it in a bid to rebuild their offensive line, but it'll take some major injuries or a ton of improvement from Beavers to get him back into roster consideration.
Moritz Bohringer, WR
Bohringer's story was the stuff of Disney movies coming out of the 2016 NFL Draft. A 6-foot-4 receiver from Germany with dazzling speed and sure hands, Bohringer picked up football several years ago after watching Adrian Peterson highlights on YouTube. He was selected by the Vikings in the sixth round despite his inexperience, and spent last season on the practice squad. At just 23 years old Bohringer hasn't quite run out of runway just yet, but with several more experienced receivers ahead of him (including new additions Michael Floyd, Rodney Adams and Stacy Colwey), his window could be closing.
AP PhotoJim Mone
Teddy Bridgewater, QB
The specter of Bridgewater's catastrophic knee injury continues to loom over the franchise. Updates on the former first-round pick's status have been few and far between, while the Vikings have waved off any attempts to establish a timeline regarding his return. They made a potentially telling move recently, declining Bridgewater's fifth-year option, meaning that 2017 could be his final season with the Vikings. If he has recovered sufficiently by the end of the coming season the Vikings could conceivably move forward with Sam Bradford, who had a strong, if uneven, Minnesota debut.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Sharrif Floyd, DT
Floyd missed most of last season after having surgery in September to repair a knee injury, and now his career could be in jeopardy due to lingering nerve damage. The No. 23 overall pick in 2013, Floyd is in the final year of his rookie contract. To make things worse for Floyd, there might be a new “Sharrif” in town. Minnesota selected defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson out of Iowa in the fourth round -- a younger, cheaper and healthier option to keep around.
C.J. Ham, FB
Now that rookies Dalvin Cook and Terrell Newby are in the mix the Vikings' backfield is looking a bit crowded, leaving Ham little room to crack the 53-man roster behind vets like Latavius Murray and scat-back Jerrick McKinnon. A native of nearby Duluth and a product of Division II Augustana, Ham has yet to register a carry for the Vikings. He made the move to fullback ahead of rookie minicamp this spring, and currently has the position to himself. However, even if Ham can make the transition he could have a hard time earning carries. Last year’s starting fullback Zach Line only played in 20 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
Taylor Heinicke, QB
Heinicke made headlines for all the wrong reasons last year, putting his foot through a window and tearing a tendon in a freak accident. He was on the shelf until early November, and has yet to make an appearance for the Vikings in two years. Heinicke could make the roster as the third-string quarterback, but his status is fairly reliant on Bridgewater's health, or lack thereof.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Rempel
Case Keenum, QB
Heinicke's competition for the third-string/backup job (again, Bridgewater complicates things), Keenum has the benefit of an NFL resume. Keenum has thrown 24 career touchdowns against 20 interceptions, and had a 60.9 completion percentage last season in 10 appearances for the hapless L.A. Rams. Still, with Bradford a lock to start, Heinicke in the mix and Bridgewater potentially on the mend, it could be a crowded group and someone (or two) will have to go.
Jarius Wright, WR
Something has to give here. The Vikings head into OTAs with 12 receivers on the roster, a group that features six rookies, an established duo in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, veteran newcomer Michael Floyd and former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell. There's little room on the roster for a veteran who appeared in just eight games last year, registering 11 receptions and 67 receiving yards.