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Former Vikings Defensive Tackle Gets Tryout with the Lions

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits idle on the field before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
The Minnesota Vikings have added 25 players to their roster over the past six days.

This was necessary after the team saw a number of names depart from the roster in free agency. However, one of those remaining free agents is former Vikings defensive tackle T.J. Smith, and he is set to try out for one of Minnesota’s division rivals: the Detroit Lions.

Former Vikings Defensive Tackle Gets Tryout in Detroit

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman T.J. Smith (50) performs a drill during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the news on Wednesday, tweeting, “Free agent defensive tackle T.J. Smith will participate in Lions rookie minicamp as a tryout player next week, per source. Smith spent the last three seasons with Minnesota.”

Smith spent his collegiate career with the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2015-19, recording 75 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble. He then went undrafted in 2020 and signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent.

Aug 24, 2020; Costa Mesa California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle TJ Smith (77) participates in blocking drill during training camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
He spent the 2020 season on LA’s practice squad, but he didn’t get a chance to appear in any games. Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Smith was waived, and ever since then, he has been with the Vikings.

Throughout his three seasons with the Vikings, Smith appeared in four games and recorded 11 tackles as well as a tackle for loss. Similarly to his stint with the Chargers, Smith spent the majority of his tenure in Minnesota on the practice squad, but he was signed to the 53-man roster down the stretch of the 2023 season

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