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Chris Doleman has passed away

He was 58 years old

Minnesota Vikings vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - November 12, 1989

Reports are surfacing that the Minnesota Vikings family has lost one of its all-time greats.

Multiple outlets are reporting that defensive end Chris Doleman, who had been fighting brain cancer for the past couple of years, has passed away at the age of 58. This comes just three days after he marked his two-year anniversary of surviving against that cancer.

Doleman was the fourth overall pick by the Vikings in the 1985 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh. After originally being miscast as an outside linebacker, he shifted to the defensive end position in 1987 when the Vikings moved to a 4-3 defense and became one of the most feared pass rushers in NFL history. He spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Vikings before joining the Atlanta Falcons in 1994. After two seasons in Atlanta, he joined the San Francisco 49ers for three years. He came back to the Vikings for his final NFL season in 1999, putting up eight sacks at the age of 38 and retiring after the Vikings bowed out of the playoffs.

Doleman was a three-time First-Team All-Pro with the Vikings, garnering that honor in 1987, 1989, and 1992. In that 1989 season, he set a Vikings team record with 21 sacks, a record that stood until it was broken by Jared Allen in 2011. He was also a two-time Second-Team All-Pro (1990, 1993) and made the Pro Bowl six times in the ten years he spent with Minnesota.

For his career, Doleman collected 150.5 sacks, a number that puts him fifth on the NFL’s all-time list. He was also named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team, is a member of the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor, and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

We here at The Daily Norseman want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Chris Doleman on their tremendous loss.

The Vikings have released a statement.

The statement reads:

The Minnesota Vikings express our deepest sympathies to Chris Doleman’s family and friends upon his passing. Chris was a great example for players past and present, as he embodied all the best characteristics of a Viking - resilience, toughness and a competitive spirit. Chris always carried himself with dignity and class. Vikings fans worldwide will greatly miss him.