Vikings put Nick Easton on IR, sign guard Kaleb Johnson

© Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports Images

Johnson was released by Bears on Saturday; Easton is out for the season after surgery for a bulging disc in his neck

The Minnesota Vikings officially placed offensive lineman Nick Easton on injured reserve on Monday and signed guard Kaleb Johnson.

Easton, who was slated to be the starter at left guard, had surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck. For now, Minnesota is using veteran lineman Tom Compton at left guard in Easton's place.

But the Vikings needed to add some depth along the line as center Pat Elflein is still on the physically unable to perform list after offseason surgeries. Starting right guard Mike Remmers and rookie guard Colby Gossett have also missed recent practices with unannounced injuries.

Enter Johnson, who was released by the Chicago Bears on Saturday as they signed running back Knile Davis.

Johnson, 25, has also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs in a career that started in 2015. He spent 2015 on Baltimore's practice squad.

Johnson played at Rutgers where he played guard and tackle.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has preached calm about they injury situation along the interior of the offensive line. Zimmer said he liked how the starting line played in the first preseason game against Denver and also spoke highly of lineman Aviante Collins, a tackle who has received playing time at guard recently.