We are 20 days away from the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Green Bay Packers to kick off the 2020 NFL season at U.S. Bank Stadium, and there’s a potential issue on the horizon that bears some watching.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter, arguably the best player on the defensive side of the ball for the purple, has been sitting out of practices for a while now. Monday marked the eighth consecutive practice that Hunter has been out for, and it’s time to wonder if we’re getting into “let’s be worried” territory.
With both Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph having moved on this offseason, Hunter is the unquestioned leader of the defensive line. He’s established himself as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, and if he were to miss any time, the defensive end situation behind him suddenly looks awfully thin. Big things are being expected from Ifeadi Odenigbo after he came on last season, but beyond that. . .there’s a whole lot of question marks.
When he’s been asked about it in recent weeks, Zimmer has said that Hunter has a “tweak.” Given how forthcoming Zimmer has been about injuries during his time as Vikings’ coach, that could mean anything from an actual tweak to. . .well, something much worse. I certainly hope that it isn’t much worse, but at this point we can’t tell.
Yes, we’re still three weeks away from the games that actually matter (after the NFL got rid of all the games that don’t matter for this year), so we probably shouldn’t be panicking yet. If we get into next week with Hunter still sitting out of practice, though, it may be time to pull the alarm.
Are you worried about Danielle Hunter missing so many practices at this point in the preseason, folks? Or are you going to wait to see if all the worrying is for nothing?