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Bleacher Report – Vikings

First domino falls in Vikings running back Joe Banyard

by Andrew Krammer

Coach Leslie Frazier said cuts are one of the toughest parts of his job and he made one of the more difficult ones first on Saturday.

Running back Joe Banyard and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie were cut hours before the 5 p.m. CT deadline for all teams to trim their rosters from 75 to 53.

Banyard’s solid preseason finished with a bang on Thursday when he finished with 116 total yards and a touchdown in a win against the Tennessee Titans.

He could land on the practice squad again if not claimed off waivers. Banyard was signed to the practice squad in late November before being invited back this offseason.

Drafting rookie linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerlad Hodges in April foreshadowed McKenzie’s fate. He proved to be a good special teams player, but the Vikings hope they found his replacement in the middle of the defense with Mauti, who also starts on kickoff.

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