Prior to the season, the Minnesota Vikings made what seemed like a minor move when they signed cornerback Duke Shelley to the practice squad after he was waived by the Chicago Bears. The signing didn’t get much attention from fans, mainly because the Vikings had a full cornerback room filled led by Patrick Peterson and two draft picks. Along with that, Shelley was on the practice squad, and practice squad players don’t get much attention.
Shelley missed out on playing his former team in week five because he was still on the practice squad due to cornerback depth at the start of the season. As injuries piled up, the Vikings needed more on the active roster. In Week 10, the Vikings elevated him to the 53-man roster.
Fast forward to now, Shelley is not only still on the active roster, but he’s starting. That means this weekend, Shelley will get to face his former team when the Vikings travel to Soldier Field for the final regular-season game. When asked about the upcoming game, Shelley stated that he’d been thinking about it since he arrived in Minnesota.
“I’ve been thinking about (this game) since I got here. I’m sure it’ll be a little emotional. I take it kind of personal (being released).”
Shelley didn’t stop there with his comments about the Bears. Shelley went on to talk about how, in Chicago, he felt like he was playing out of position and that he was much more comfortable playing outside cornerback instead of inside.
“My whole career I’d been playing outside corner. When I got drafted I thought I’d get a chance to play outside, but they slotted me in as a nickel. But I’m more comfortable on the outside I’m just glad it ended up working out.”
Shelley has had a remarkable journey this season with the Vikings, and he continues to impress week in and week out. He’s currently Pro Football Focus’ 12th-ranked coverage cornerback on the season, and he is second in the NFL over the last six weeks with seven pass breakups. This Sunday, Shelley will finally get his revenge and show the Bears what they let go.