Vikings place WR Josh Doctson on IR, elevate CB Nate Meadors from practice squad

UCLA Bruins defensive back Nate Meadors (22) tackles California Golden Bears running back Patrick Laird (28) during a November 2017 game. The Minnesota Vikings on Thursday elevated Meadors from the practice squad to help provide depth at cornerback. Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Vikings are low on wide receivers and on healthy cornerbacks.

Minnesota on Thursday, Sept. 12, placed wide receiver Josh Doctson on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury and elevated undrafted rookie Nate Meadors from the practice squad to help provide depth at cornerback.

The Vikings also added undrafted rookie wide receiver Alexander Hollins, who was with them throughout the preseason, to the practice squad.

Doctson, signed Sept. 3 after being waived Aug. 31 by Washington, apparently was hurt in practice Wednesday, when he was listed as limited. He had not appeared on a previous injury report.

Doctson was inactive for last Sunday’s 28-12 win over Atlanta in the opener, leaving the Vikings with just four wide receivers available. Those four — Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Chad Beebe and Bisi Johnson — are the only receivers on the roster entering Sunday’s game at Green Bay.

“I’m bummed for him because he’s been nothing but supportive since he got here and wanted to learn the offense and wanted to help this team win,” Thielen said of Doctson, who could return after sitting out eight weeks.

The Vikings also have depth issues in the secondary. Of their eight cornerbacks, Holton Hill is on the suspended list and out Sunday and Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes and Mark Fields all were on Thursday’s injury report.

Alexander, the nickel back, suffered a dislocated elbow against the Falcons and missed his second straight day of practice. He likely won’t play against the Packers, and would be replaced by safety Jayron Kearse.

Hughes, who hasn’t played since suffering a torn ACL and other ligament damage in Week 6 last year as a rookie, might not make it back by Sunday. He has continued to be limited in practice.

Also listed as limited Thursday were Fields (groin) and guard Pat Elflein (knee).

Elflein had sat out practice Wednesday. If he is unable to play Sunday, he would be replaced by Dakota Dozier.

Linebacker Anthony Barr (knee) and tight end Tyler Conklin (ribs) were full practice participants after being limited Wednesday.

Thielen, Rodgers are buddies

Thielen and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have run into each other at offseason golf tournaments and other events and have become buddies.

“He’s been really good to me and my family and I’m very appreciative of the support that he’s given me through my years,’’ Thielen said.

When Thielen signed a four-year, $64 million extension last April, he said Rodgers reached out.

“He was one of the first to congratulate me and sent me a text,’’ Thielen said. “So it’s pretty cool to have a guy like that that’s a rival, but he’s been good to me and shows me his respect.’’


  • In last year’s finale, a 24-10 loss to Chicago that cost Minnesota a playoff berth, defensive end Stephen Weatherly was called for a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty. Weatherly said Thursday he was told a few days after the game by defensive line coach Andre Patterson that the NFL informed the Vikings a flag shouldn’t have been thrown. The penalty came after Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw an incompletion on third and 11 at the Chicago 24 with 9:48 left in the first half. After the drive was kept alive, the Bears scored a touchdown to go up 13-0.
  • Tight end Brandon Dillon, waived Tuesday and signed to the practice squad Wednesday, so much wanted to stay with the Vikings that he didn’t want to go to another team’s 53-man roster. “The nerve-wracking part was if I was going to get claimed or not because you can get claimed to go all the way across the nation,” he said. “So I was just hoping that I didn’t get claimed so I could stay here because I feel like this is a good spot. This is where I wanted to stay. So I was pretty happy.”
  • The Vikings have let go of defensive end Ade Aruna, a sixth-round pick in 2018 who missed all of last season with a knee injury. He was waived on Aug. 31 and then reverted the next day to injured reserve.

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