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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #48

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Very little to be seen here, folks

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The number 48 has not figured all that prominently into the history of the Minnesota Vikings. Only seven players in team history have worn the number, and there were only two that made any sort of an impact on the team.

The first of those two, at least chronologically, is defensive back Najee Mustafaa. Mustafaa, whose name was Reggie Rutland when he was drafted by the Vikings in 1987, played for the Vikings for five seasons, starting at the corner position from 1989 to 1991. (I don’t recall exactly when the name change happened, or if it even happened when he was still a member of the Vikings.) His first big impact came as a rookie, as he intercepted a pass from Joe Montana and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings big 1987 playoff blowout of the San Francisco 49ers. He also held the record for the longest interception return for a touchdown in team history with a 97-yard score against the Los Angeles Rams in 1991, a record that stood until Xavier Rhodes’ 100-yard return this past season.

The other player deserving of consideration is fullback Zach Line. Line served as the primary fullback for the Vikings from 2013 to 2016 after signing as an undrafted free agent out of SMU. Line scored just three touchdowns in his time with the Vikings, but generally proved to be a solid blocker when he was called upon. He’s currently still a free agent, so I suppose he could make a return, but I’m not sure if I’d count on it.

Vikings that have worn the number 48:

  • Larry Marshall (1974)
  • Sammy Johnson (1976 - 1978)
  • Najee Mustafaa (1987 - 1991)
  • Matt Cercone (2000)
  • Matt Katula (2011)
  • Matt Asiata (2012)
  • Zach Line (2013 - present)

Apparently the number 48 is big for guys named Matt. Who knew?

The number 47 will be our focus for tomorrow. Though it isn’t a big-time number for a lot of teams, for the Vikings there’s one pretty obvious choice.

Poll

Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 48?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Zach Line (2013 - 2016)
    (234 votes)
  • 66%
    Najee Mustafaa (1987 - 1991)
    (461 votes)
695 votes total Vote Now