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Signs of things improving? Vikings release Prater, sign Trattou

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Things might be getting a little better for the Minnesota Vikings secondary, as they prepare to face Chicago on Sunday.

On Monday the Vikings signed defensive end Justin Trattou and waived safety Shaun Prater, whom they had signed last week after injuries to all four safeties on the active roster.

Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo both missed Thursday's game at Arizona because of knee injuries. Robert Blanton was also out with a knee injury and Antone Exum was placed on injured reserve after suffering broken ribs and a shoulder injury against Seattle.

The Vikings moved cornerback Terrence Newman to safety, signed rookie Anthony Harris off the practice squad and added Prater, whom they had released during the preseason for depth.

According to The Daily Norseman, Prater's release could mean that either Sendejo or Smith is getting closer to returning.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said last week that of the two, Sendejo was closer, but there will be more news available on both later in the week.

It also allows the Vikings to bring back Trattou, who was signed as a free agent to be the team's third defensive end. But an injury slowed him and rookie Danielle Hunter emerged, forcing Trattou down on the depth chart.

FOX Sports North notes that Trattou, a fourth-year defensive end out of Florida, has been active just twice this season. He intercepted one pass, defended a pass and assisted on one tackle so far this season.

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