MANKATO, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have signed linebacker Darnell Sankey for depth, responding to injuries to two players at the position early in training camp.
Sankey found a recognizable name waiting for him on the roster, if not a familiar face. He’s a distant cousin of running back Bishop Sankey, who was picked up by the Vikings late last season for the practice squad. But the Sankeys had never actually met until Saturday .
“I don’t know of any other Sankeys in the NFL beside me and him. So it’s cool having somebody out here from the same bloodline,” Bishop Sankey said after practice.
They recently became aware of each other through social media and their mutual foray into professional football.
“It’s just cool that he’s here now,” Bishop Sankey said.
They weren’t immediately sure how the Sankey family tree linked them together, with Bishop Sankey being raised in Ohio and moving to Washington and Darnell Sankey hailing from California, but perhaps with some down time during camp they’d be able to figure it out.
And, of course, autograph each other’s jersey.
“Got to,” Bishop Sankey said. “Got to.”
Darnell Sankey was an undrafted product of Sacramento State who spent time last season with Denver, Oakland and Kansas City. The Vikings also signed linebacker Noor Davis, a rookie from Stanford, after injuries to linebackers Shaan Washington and Kentrell Brothers. Washington was waived.
Brothers was a fifth-round draft pick last year out of Missouri. He left the field on a cart on Friday in pain while clutching his left hamstring. He returned Saturday to watch while the team went through the first practice in pads.
Others injured and out of action on Saturday were running back Jerick McKinnon, cornerback Terrell Sinkfield and left tackle Riley Reiff. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Latavius Murray and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd remained on the physically unable to perform list.