EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- During their offseason program, the Minnesota Vikings might have had more competition for their slot cornerback spot if Jacob Lacey -- whom they'd signed to a one-year deal in the offseason -- had been able to stay healthy. Lacey had thumb surgery in early June, which caused him to miss the team's mandatory mini-camp, and was cut in August after he required minor knee surgery during training camp.
Now, with Harrison Smith heading to injured reserve because of turf toe, the Vikings have another opportunity to take a look at Lacey.
They re-signed him on Friday, adding another defensive back to their roster with Smith out for at least eight weeks. Lacey won't help with their safety depth, but he could provide some flexibility if the Vikings did want to move Josh Robinson out of the slot corner role in their nickel package.
Lacey played mostly slot corner for the Lions last year, allowing 34 catches in 50 targets and four touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. He's far from a sure thing -- he likely wouldn't have been available in Week 7, nearly two months after his surgery, if he was -- but he's another option on a team that might need alternatives to Robinson in the slot.
There is some irony in all this, of course, with cornerback Bobby Felder, who looked like he had won a roster spot until he sprained his ankle in the Vikings' final preseason game and got beat out by Marcus Sherels. The Vikings put Felder on injured reserve, ostensibly to maintain control of him for another year, but now they're unable to use him when they need another defensive back. In any case, Lacey should already know their scheme after spending the entire summer working in it. The Vikings will have to see if he can help them.