We round out the 40s today in our Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers series with, you guessed it, the number 40. There are two primary figures from the history of the Vikings that have donned the number. One is a defensive back from the earlier years of the team, and the other a hard-nosed fan favorite that spent a long career in purple.
The first is defensive back Charlie West, who played for the team from 1968 to 1973. West was a starter at cornerback for a few years for the Vikings, including starting in Super Bowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs. He probably had his best year as a corner in 1971, a season where he intercepted seven passes. He also spent plenty of time as a return specialist for the team, as he’s currently fourth in team history in punt return yardage and #8 in team history in kickoff return yardage. He played for both the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos after leaving Minnesota.
Then we have tight end/fullback Jim Kleinsasser. The pride of Carrington, North Dakota, Kleinsasser was selected by the Vikings in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He spent his first few seasons as a fullback, but then transitioned to being more of an in-line tight end. Kleinsasser was one of the best blocking tight ends in the National Football League during his tenure with the Vikings, and became a fan favorite because of his hard-nosed demeanor. He didn’t really light up the stat sheet. . .he had just seven touchdowns in his Minnesota career. . .but that’s not really what he was being asked to do. He retired from football after the 2011 season, having spent all 13 seasons of his NFL career in purple and gold.
Those are really the only two noteworthy players for the number 40 in team history, folks.
Vikings that have worn the number 40:
- Jack Morris (1961)
- Tom Franckhauser (1962 - 1963)
- Preston Carpenter (1966)
- Charlie West (1968 - 1973)
- Windlan Hall (1976 - 1977)
- Doug Paschal (1980)
- Wayne Smith (1987)
- Anthony Prior (1996 - 1997)
- Jim Kleinsasser (1999 - 2011)
- Rhett Ellison (2012 - 2013)
- Edmond Robinson (2015)
- Kentrell Brothers (2016 - present)
We break into the 30s tomorrow, folks, and that means we’re getting closer to the start of the 2017 Minnesota Vikings season.
Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 40?
This poll is closed
Jim Kleinsasser (1999 - 2011)
Charlie West (1968 - 1973)