The Minnesota Vikings had an exciting off-season and made new hires before the beginning of the 2022 NFL draft. They worked hard to build a reputable roster with the help of new hires Head Coach Kevin O’Connell and General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.
New players and leadership were most welcome, but an opportunity for returning players to build the team remained. Recent rumors about the Vikings’ new search for a new DT were officially confirmed when they signed former Chicago Bears Khyris Tonga.
The Vikings made this official this Wednesday morning by signing the seventh-round pick. This signing was followed by three roster moves that included waiving the linebacker, Ryan Connelly. Ryan Connelly’s return to the Minnesota Vikings was short-lived, as he was activated from the physical but could not perform on Tuesday. However, he was placed on the waivers by the Vikings, and this move opened up a spot for Khyris Tonga.
Khyiris Tonga will join the Vikings after spending some time on the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons team. He was born and bred in West Valley, Utah, and entered the NFL as the seventh-round pick in 2021 with the Chicago Bears.
New #Vikings NT Khyiris Tonga is a true blue 1-Tech. Was solid at BYU. Showed some promise with the Bears last season, but they shifted to a 4-3 this SZN under Eberflus. Really solid pickup. pic.twitter.com/cNkhdE42J8
— Purple FTW! Podcast (@PurpleForTheWin) October 4, 2022
About Khyiris Tonga
Khyiris only spent about a month with the Atlanta Falcons; his rookie campaign and offseason were spent with the bears before the waiver at the end of August. Tonga played at Brigham Young University from 2017 to 2020 for about four seasons. The University reports his stats at 130 tackles, 69 of which were solo, 15 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, five sacks, and 12 passes in the 50 games he played. In his final year, he recorded two sacks, five passes, and 36 tackles in the 11 games he was in.
Khyiris Tonga also attended his high school in Utah at Granger, where as a freshman, he was part of the All-Region 2 First-Team in football. While there, he played as defense and offense line, and tight end for the BYU Cougars football team. He was also a rugby player.
Go Cougs! 💙 pic.twitter.com/25diqCC5ux
— Khyiris Tonga (@khyiristonga) December 31, 2020
Tonga’s childhood was not free of hardships. In a video produced by Brigham Young University, Khyiris narrates his childhood experiences. In this, he details his homelessness in high school and his stints at the women’s shelter with his mother before the Tongas adopted him.
Raised by Mormons, Tonga was bound to be religious, and he declared his desire to be part of the Mormon mission while in high school. He served this two-year mission and traveled to Wichita, Kansas, before joining college. Khyiris, like many athletes, is a proud girl dad with a daughter who turned a year in June.
With the Chicago Bears last season, Tonga made 24 tackles and a fumble recovery in the fifteen games he was in. he will join Ross Blacklock and Harrison Phillips as part of the interior and defense line of the Minnesota Vikings.
The #Vikings have signed DL Khyiris Tonga and added S Mike Brown to the practice squad.
LB Ryan Connelly has been waived and WR Blake Proehl has returned to practice.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 5, 2022
Team’s New Developments
In the announcement of signing Tonga, the Vikings also made known that their wide receiver Brake Proehl would begin practice if he could clear the waivers. Proehl is on the PUP list and has an additional 21 days to practice before hitting the deadline to either activate or keep him for the season.
Travis Toivonen has been released from the practice squad by the Vikings, creating a spot for Proehl. The team has only five active wide receivers on their roster, which is all good for Proehl. Bringing back Mike Brown, an undrafted free agent in Miami, Ohio, was a decision contingent on the Cine’s injury.
Recent decisions have put the Vikings in a weird position as they have many Pro Bowlers returning for the 2022 season. However, the younger players on the team do not have much to offer in the way of slam dunks yet or in the future.
Nwangwu is often overlooked as a returner in the team. In his rookie season, he had two kickbacks and touchdowns. As a running back, he probably will not experience much action but time, and again, he has proved to be a significant weapon in the kick return. This is despite only fielding eighteen kickoffs in the previous season. A full-time job in the season will ensure he not only hits three but is no longer overlooked by the team.
— SKOLcal Vikes (@skolcalvikes) October 5, 2022
Until now, it is pretty impossible to know where the Minnesota Vikings are headed as a team.
The last season was marked with managerial and coaching staff changes with little to no changes in the players. This season, on the other hand, has many player changes.
Last Sunday’s win against New Orleans Saints ensured their place in the draft and elite quarterback. However, it is not known how letting go of veterans would affect their game, but most predict this is the way to secure the team.
Year 2. 🎥 pic.twitter.com/qOALW8bwTk
— Khyiris Tonga (@khyiristonga) July 28, 2022
Credits on Featured Image: All-Pro Reels / Joe Glorioso