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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #52

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You like linebackers? Well, we’ve got a lot of them here for you.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

We’re rapidly approaching the halfway mark of our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series, and we’re approaching the end of the 50s as well, as today we take a look at the number 52.

The number 52 didn’t see a whole lot of success for the Vikings until 1980, when it was picked up by linebacker Dennis Johnson. Johnson was the Vikings’ fourth-round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft out of USC, and while he didn’t do much early on, he wound up as a starter at outside linebacker for the team from 1982 to 1984, starting 40 of the team’s 41 games during that stretch. (Remember, 1982 was a strike year with only nine games, but Johnson started all of them.) His career in purple was fairly nondescript, though he did manage to recover five fumbles during his time in Minnesota.

The next prominent player to wear the number 52 for the Vikings was linebacker Kailee Wong. Wong, the Vikings’ second-round pick in 1998 (or “the guy the Vikings drafted after they drafted Randy Moss”), was the starter at middle linebacker for the team in 2000 and 2001, and then went on to play for the Houston Texans. In his two seasons as the Vikings’ starting middle linebacker, he had three interceptions, returning one pick of Brett Favre for a touchdown at the Metrodome.

The most recent linebacker to wear the #52 for Minnesota is a player that we’re all familiar with, and that’s Chad Greenway. The Vikings’ first-round pick in 2006, Greenway missed his entire rookie season after tearing his ACL on kickoff coverage in the first quarter of his first preseason game. After that, however, he was a rock for the Minnesota defense, starting 111 of 112 games over the next seven seasons at outside linebacker. He was a two-time Pro Bowler, and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2012. In his Vikings’ career, he racked up 18 quarterback sacks and 11 interceptions, taking two of those picks all the way back for scores. Greenway announced his retirement after the 2016 season.

That’s really just about it for prominent number 52s in the history of the Vikings, folks.

Vikings that have worn the number 52:

  • Bill Lapham (1961)
  • Bill Swain (1964)
  • Mike Reilly (1969)
  • Noel Jenke (1970)
  • Ron Porter (1973)
  • Joe Harris (1979)
  • Dennis Johnson (1980 - 1985)
  • Randy Rasmussen (1987 - 1988)
  • Jim Dick (1987)
  • William Kirksey (1990)
  • David Bavaro (1992)
  • Richard Brown (1994 - 1996)
  • Kailee Wong (1998 - 2001)
  • Henri Crockett (2002 - 2003)
  • Keith Newman (2004 - 2005)
  • Chad Greenway (2006 - 2016)

We get closer to the end of the 50s tomorrow when we take a look at the number 51, ladies and gentlemen.

Poll

Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 52?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Chad Greenway (2006 - 2016)
    (1105 votes)
  • 0%
    Dennis Johnson (1980 - 1985)
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Kailee Wong (1998 - 2001)
    (12 votes)
1122 votes total Vote Now