Over the course of team history, there have been a number of players that have worn the number 57 for the Minnesota Vikings. However, the longest that anyone has worn the number for the team has been four seasons. That doesn’t leave a lot of prominent players to pick from for the best of all time to wear it for the purple, but we have got a couple of linebackers for consideration.
The first of the two we can take a look at is Mike Merriweather, who joined the Vikings in 1989 after spending six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Merriweather played for the Vikings for four seasons, and started all but one game during those seasons. He didn’t receive any individual accolades during his time in Minnesota, but he was a solid, reliable defender for the team during that stretch. He also became the first player in NFL history to score the winning points in an overtime game via a safety, as it was his blocked punt that gave the Vikings their winning margin in their 23-21 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on 5 November 1989. (That was the game that led to the infamous Jerry Burns press conference that we’ve highlighted several times here before.)
Our other consideration for the number 57 is linebacker Dwayne Rudd, a first round pick of the Vikings in 1997. Rudd took over as one of the starters at linebacker in 1998, and that year he set an NFL record for fumble return yardage in a single season that still stands, as he had 157 yards in returns that season. Rudd was named a second-team All-Pro for that 1998 season. He left the Vikings for Cleveland after the 2000 season, having started 46 of the 61 career games he played in purple.
Those are really the two main players for this number, though we could give an honorable mention to OMG AUDIE COLE because, hey, Audie Cole.
Vikings that have worn the number 57:
- Bill Jobko (1963 - 1965)
- Doug Dumler (1976 - 1977)
- Paul Harris (1978)
- Derrel Luce (1979 - 1980)
- Robin Sendlein (1981 - 1984)
- Chris Martin (1985 - 1988)
- Mike Merriweather (1989 - 1992)
- William Sims (1994)
- Dwayne Rudd (1997 - 2000)
- Raonall Smith (2003 - 2005)
- Rufus Alexander (2008)
- Xavier Adibi (2011)
- Audie Cole (2012 - 2016)
On to the number 56 tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, and a choice that appears to be a fairly obvious one.
Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 57?
This poll is closed
Mike Merriweather (1989 - 1992)
Dwayne Rudd (1997 - 2000)