In the history of the Minnesota Vikings, only six players have ever worn the number 47. Four of those six players were only with the team for one season. One of the two that has worn the number for multiple seasons is the team’s current long snapper, Kevin McDermott, who will be entering his third season with the team in 2017.
Then, there was Joey Browner.
A four-time All-American in college at Southern Cal, the Vikings selected Browner with the 19th overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. Solidifying his place in the starting lineup in 1985, Browner would go on to become one of the finest defensive backs in Vikings’ history. In his career, counting the postseason, he intercepted 40 passes, including a five-season stretch that saw him pick off at least five passes in each season. His 37 regular season interceptions put him fourth in team history behind Paul Krause (53), Bobby Bryant (51), and Ed Sharockman (40).
During his time with the Vikings, Browner was recognized as one of the NFL’s best safeties, as likely to lay out a wide receiver with a huge hit as he was to try to intercept the pass coming in their direction. He was a six-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings, a three-time First Team All-Pro (1987, 1988, and 1990, with a second team spot in 1989), and was named a member of the All-1980s team at the safety spot. He is also the most recent inductee into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor, having been given that recognition in October of 2013.
Browner played for the Vikings for nine seasons from 1983 to 1991. He then signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one final season, and retired from the NFL following the 1992 campaign.
Vikings that have worn the number 47:
- Justin Rowland (1961)
- Dick James (1965)
- Ron Groce (1976)
- Tim Baylor (1979)
- Joey Browner (1983 - 1991)
- Kevin McDermott (2015 - present)
That will do it for the number 47, folks. Tomorrow, as you’ve probably surmised, we will move on to the number 46.