MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Vikings released 22 players on Saturday to reduce their roster to the regular-season limit of 53, including two fifth-year veterans: receiver Billy McMullen and running back Artose Pinner.
McMullen, who had a career-high 307 yards and two touchdowns last season after he was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, became expendable when the Vikings signed Robert Ferguson last week. Receivers Jason Carter, Cortez Hankton and Martin Nance were also cut.
Pinner filled in admirably for a game against the Detroit Lions last December when Chester Taylor was hurt, rushing for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
But Pinner and fellow running back Ciatrick Fason, a fourth-round draft pick in 2005 who was also cut Saturday, were bumped down the depth chart on draft day when Adrian Peterson was taken with the seventh overall selection. Mewelde Moore made the team as the third back.
Three other players who have seen significant playing time over the past few seasons, safety Greg Blue, cornerback Dovonte Edwards and tight end Richard Owens, were also released.

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