The move comes a day after the team deactivated Adrian Peterson for the game, following the all-pro's indictment on injury to a child charges in Texas.
Banyard, a 25-year-old second-year pro out of Texas-El Paso,has never played in an NFL regular season game. He had 36 carries for 212 yards in the preseason this year, to the tune of 5.9 yards per carry. Most of it came in a 111-yard performance against the Titans in the exhibition finale, but he also scampered for a 56-yard run in preseason week two against Arizona.
Banyard was released as part of the final round of roster cuts following preseason action, but quickly signed on to the practice squad.
He will likely be the third running back on Minnesota's roster Sunday. No. 2 back Matt Asiata (two carries for 10 yards against the Rams) is expected to be the starter, with rookie Jerick McKinnon then bumped up from third string to back-up duties. Asiata has started one game in his career – against the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 15, 2013, when he rushed for three touchdowns.
The offense around Asiata, McKinnon and Banyard should be at full strength (outside of Peterson's massive absence).
Left guard Charlie Johnson was the only offensive starter listed on the Vikings' injury report with an apparent ankle issue. But he participated fully in practice Friday and is listed as probable. Rodney Smith, the fifth wide receiver on the depth chart, is questionable after suffering a hamstring injury during practice this week.
On defense, things get a bit iffy.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) and defensive tackle Shariff Floyd (shoulder) – both starters – are battling injuries suffered in the St. Louis game. Both had limited participation in practice Friday, after previously missing one or more days this past week. The two were listed as questionable for Sunday.
The only player ruled out is rookie linebacker Brandon Watts, who missed practice all week with a knee injury.
See the Patriots' injury report by clicking here.