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Vikings Designate Nwangwu for Return, Release Abdullah

#26 RB Kene Nwangwu
#26 RB Kene Nwangwu

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Tuesday designated running back Kene Nwangwu for return from Injured Reserve and released veteran Ameer Abdullah.

Nwangwu was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Iowa State.

He made his pro debut in the preseason against Denver but played just two snaps before leaving the game with a knee injury. Nwangwu returned one kickoff 18 yards against the Broncos.

Abdullah has bounced back and forth this season from the practice squad to the 53-man roster but appeared in all six games so far this season. He rushed seven times for 30 yards and caught three passes for 17 yards on offense. Abdullah also returned seven kickoffs for 162 yards (an average of 23.1 yards per return), highlighted by a 45-yarder at Carolina on Sunday.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.

Rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette totaled four kickoff returns for 83 yards (20.8 average) with a long of 24 in his first three games of 2021. Smith-Marsette missed the past three contests with a toe injury.

Minnesota (3-3) is on its bye in Week 7 and returns to action on Oct. 31 when it will host Dallas (5-1) on NBC's Sunday Night Football.