MINNEAPOLIS – Vikings long-snapper Kevin McDermott was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, a week after suffering a dislocated left shoulder at Green Bay.
The Vikings brought in free-agent long-snappers earlier in the week for what they hoped would be a temporary fix after McDermott expressed optimism that he would be able to return for the postseason. If Minnesota beats Chicago in Week 17, its playoff run will begin in the divisional round the weekend of Jan. 13.
Jeff Overbaugh was chosen as McDermott’s replacement on Tuesday and will take over long-snapping duties indefinitely. Before he spent training camp with the Rams in 2016 and short stints with the Broncos and Bears earlier this year, Overbaugh stood out to special teams coordinator Mike Priefer at last year’s Senior Bowl.
“I thought his accuracy was outstanding,” Priefer said. “I just remember him being a very consistent snapper and I know that he’s being doing the snapping kind of workout and a bunch of workouts. And that’s a good sign, too, when a guy’s getting a lot of workouts a lot of people think he’s a solid snapper.”
McDermott was held out of practice ahead of the Chicago game but worked with Overbaugh during the week. Minnesota’s specialists practiced at U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of Sunday’s game to get Overbaugh comfortable in his new game day surroundings with communication between the holder and kicker, protections on punts and field goals, and what his snapping duties will feel like in a game.
“It’s the first time Jeff has ever been there,” Priefer said. “But we’ve kind of got that shock and awe, ‘Okay, wow. It’s U.S. Bank Stadium.’ Now we’re going to get work done on Sunday. That was critical yesterday and then (Thursday), with the team, with the field goals, yesterday with the punts, with the protection and everything. There was good tempo for him. Jeff had never gone through that tempo he said in punt protection and in coverage and everything.”
With McDermott going to IR, the Vikings promoted center Cornelius Edison from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The move to bring Edison onto the active roster for a second time this season corresponds to the shift Minnesota will have to make for a seventh time this season with its combination of starting offensive linemen.
With rookie center Pat Elflein out with a shoulder injury, veteran Joe Berger will slide over from right guard to center on Sunday. Nick Easton served as the Vikings reserve center when Elflein missed the Carolina game, but due to the left guard’s season-ending injury, Edison will step into the emergency center role.