For the Minnesota Vikings, the number 24 is another number that has been worn by a lot of players over the years, but very few that made a real impact. However, one player worked his way up from undrafted free agency to Pro Bowl status while wearing the number, and is really the best player to wear it for the purple by a significant margin.
Robert Griffith went undrafted out of San Diego State in 1993, and spent a year playing in the Canadian Football League before getting a chance to sign with the Vikings. Griffith was mainly a backup and special teamer for his first two seasons with the team, but cracked the starting lineup in 1996 and immediately made a big impact. Griffith collected four interceptions that season, in addition to garnering a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL.
Griffith’s success in the NFL would continue as a member of the Vikings for eight seasons, being named an All-Pro twice (1998, 1999) and picking up 17 interceptions. He then went on to play for the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals before signing a contract to retire as a Viking in 2008. He also won the Ed Block Courage Award in 1999, and was named the Minnesota Vikings’ Man of the Year in 2000.
A couple of honorable mentions:
Defensive back Terry Brown played for the team from 1972 to 1975. He’s most known for scoring the Vikings’ only points in their Super Bowl IX loss on a blocked punt.
Safety Dwight Smith only played two seasons for the Vikings, but did pick up eight interceptions during that stretch.
Captain Munnerlyn had a couple of very good seasons as a nickel corner for the Vikings after coming over from the Carolina Panthers, including scoring the winning points in the division-clinching victory over the Green Bay Packers in 2015.
But the number 24 in Vikings history pretty clearly belongs to Robert Griffith for his solid play over an eight-year stretch for our favorite football team. We’ll move on to the number 23 tomorrow.
Vikings that have worn the number 24:
- Rich Mostardo (1961)
- Tommy Wilson (1963)
- Ted Dean (1964)
- Phil King (1965 - 1966)
- Art Powell (1968)
- Terry Brown (1972 - 1975)
- Larry Brune (1980)
- Bryan Howard (1982)
- Maurice Turner (1984 - 1985)
- Wymon Henderson (1987 - 1988)
- Pat Eilers (1990 - 1991)
- David Wilson (1992)
- J.C. Pearson (1993)
- Robert Griffith (1994 - 2001)
- Willie Offord (2002 - 2005)
- Dwight Smith (2006 - 2007)
- Jarrad Page (2011)
- A.J. Jefferson (2012 - 2013)
- Captain Munnerlyn (2014 - 2016)