The move reflects concerns the Vikings have about their wide receiver depth after Chad Beebe was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. He suffered torn ligaments in his ankle during Sunday’s 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders and is not expected to undergo surgery, according to a league source.
Receiver Josh Doctson was placed on injured reserve early in the season.
Treadwell, 24, was among the 37 cuts Minnesota made upon finalizing the 53-man roster at the end of August.
Depth concerns have been mounting for some time. Late last week, the Vikings worked out former Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews, former New York Jets WR Deontay Burnett and former Chicago Bears WR Tanner Gentry, sources told ESPN.
Treadwell, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, never panned out to the level of expectations set forth when he was drafted 23rd overall in 2016 as a big, physical outside receiver who could also line up in the slot and create mismatches while running underneath routes. Treadwell was passed up by others on the depth chart and failed to grab hold of the No. 3 receiver position behind Thielen and Diggs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Now, he’s being given a second chance to ignite his NFL career in the place where it started.
The Vikings were already on the hook for the guaranteed portion of Treadwell’s 2019 salary ($1.15 million) due to the fact that he hadn’t signed with another team after he was initially released, and were set to incur a total of $2,506,360 in dead cap money between the guarantees and proration of his signing bonus ($1,356,360 million).
In other roster moves Tuesday, the Vikings signed return specialist/cornerback Marcus Sherels and waived linebacker Devante Downs.
Sherels signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and spent nine seasons in Minnesota before signing with New Orleans as a free agent this offseason. He was injured during the preseason and was waived by the Saints with an injury settlement.
From 2011 to 2019, Sherels returned 231 punts for 2,447 yards (10.6 average) and five touchdowns. He also returned 53 kickoffs for 1,350 yards (25.5 average). Sherels ranked in the top 10 for punt return average five times (2013-14; 2016-18) — including twice in the top five.