We’re making our way through the numerical history of the Minnesota Vikings as we approach the 2017 NFL regular season, and we’ve reached the #96. Of the four numbers that we’ve gotten to thus far, this one might have the least possible debate of any of them.
Right now, the man that wears the #96 is one of the elder statesmen of the Minnesota defense, that being defensive end Brian Robison. Robison was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings back in 2007, and is getting ready to enter his eleventh season with the team. Following the retirement of Chad Greenway and the departure of Adrian Peterson, Robison is now the longest-tenured member of the Vikings’ roster.
Robison didn’t start right away for the Vikings, as he sat behind Ray Edwards for his first few seasons. But, when Edwards moved on to Atlanta in 2011, Robison assumed his left defensive end spot and has held on to it until now. He’ll likely cede a great number of his snaps to Danielle Hunter starting this year, but he’s had a solid run for the Vikings. Since taking over as the starter, Robison has started in 95 of a possible 96 regular season games, missing just one contest in 2012. He’s also collected 56 sacks in his career.
As far as other players that have worn the #96, it appears that just about the only one that most Viking fans might recognize would be defensive tackle Jerry Ball. Ball, who played most of his career for the Detroit Lions, came to Minnesota in 1997 and provided some solid run support for the Minnesota defense. He collected just one sack in his Vikings’ career, but he was never really known as a pass rusher anyway.
Vikings that have worn #96:
- Tim Newton (1985 - 1989)
- Skip McClendon (1992)
- Jerry Ball (1997 - 1999)
- Andre O’Neal (2001)
- Billy Lyon (2003)
- C.J. Mosley (2005)
- Russ Kolodziej (2006)
- Brian Robison (2007 - present)
You know, I’m not even going to bother slapping a poll on the end of this one. Robison is really that far ahead of the rest of the field here. But, that’s your look at the #96 in the history of the Minnesota Vikings.