EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have added to their tight end room with the signing of Hale Hentges to the active roster, the team announced Thursday.
Initially signed in 2019 by Indianapolis as a rookie free agent, Hentges was waived by the Colts last October and signed with Washington for the remainder of the season. He caught his first career touchdown pass from Dwayne Haskins against the Giants in Week 16.
Washington waived Hentges in September, and he re-signed with the Colts practice squad until joining the Vikings.
Hentges is reuniting with fellow tight end Irv Smith, Jr., whom he played with at Alabama.
The move adds depth to the Vikings position group that recently added Brandon Dillon to Injured Reserve and has been without Kyle Rudolph at practice this week due to a foot injury. Smith has been sidelined for the past two games but returned as a limited participant to Thursday's practice.
Here are five things to know about Hentges:
1. Big blocker
Hentges (listed at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds) totaled 15 catches for 124 yards and six touchdowns over four seasons with Alabama, making the bulk of his impact as a blocker. In 2015, he helped pave the way for Derrick Henry to rack up 2,219 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.
Hentges saw time in all but one game of his Crimson Tide career, and he served as one of four permanent team captains during his senior season.
In four seasons at Alabama, Hentges never was flagged for a penalty.
2. High school hype
Prior to his collegiate career, Hentges garnered attention at Helias High School (Missouri) with 169 career catches for 2,559 yards and 34 touchdowns. He racked up 969 yards and 11 touchdowns during his senior campaign.
Hentges was a three-time All-State selection by the Missouri Football Coaches Association and was selected to participate in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game.
3. In his blood
The Hentges family is a football family.
His grandfather is a retired football coach, and his father, Chris, is in his second stint as the head coach at Helias High School.
Chris was a standout running back at Helias and served as the Crusaders head coach from 2006-10, during which he recorded a 50-12 record and led the team to a pair of Class 4A State Championship games.
Chris stepped down as head coach during Hale's high school career "to avoid any conflict of interest," but following Hale's graduation from Alabama in 2018, he returned to Helias to once again lead the Crusaders.
4. Missouri native
The Vikings now have two players on their roster who hail from Missouri.
Hentges grew up in Jefferson City, the state's capital, located two hours west from Armon Watts' hometown of St. Louis. Watts, a sixth-round draft pick by Minnesota, and Hentges were both members of the 2019 rookie class.
5. Faith & family
According to Hentges' social media accounts, family and his Roman Catholic faith are important to him.
He married his wife Shannon, a former Alabama volleyball player, in January 2019. And while Hentges has only posted three times to his Instagram account, it's clear that he and Shannon enjoy spending time being silly together … and are apparently fans of The Office.