UPDATE: The torn pectoral has been confirmed and Hunter will, indeed, miss the rest of the 2021 season.
Mike Zimmer confirmed that star DE Danielle Hunter suffered a torn pectoral muscle on Sunday and will miss the remainder of this season.— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) November 1, 2021
Original story follows.
The Minnesota Vikings played the second half of their 20-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football with what had originally been classed as a shoulder injury. As it turns out, the news is likely much, much worse.
Per numerous reports, the fear is that Hunter suffered a torn pectoral muscle. If that turns out to be the case, and an MRI is being done today to confirm that, it will cost Hunter the rest of the 2021 season and deal a very significant blow to the Minnesota defense.
Hunter missed the entire 2020 season with a herniated disc in his neck and started this offseason in a contract dispute with the Vikings. The team re-worked his deal to give him some more up front money to resolve the dispute, and he is now due an $18 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2022 league year. We’re going to have to see how that plays out when the time comes.
In the shorter term, however, the loss of Hunter is going to deal a significant blow to a pass rush that struggled in 2020 but was revitalized this season, largely because of the reunion of Hunter and Everson Griffen at the defensive end spots for the purple. With the team having traded Stephen Weatherly to the Denver Broncos during the bye week, a season-ending injury to Hunter would leave them with just about no depth at the defensive end spot behind Griffen and D.J. Wonnum.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed on this one, but it certainly doesn’t sound good in any respect for one of the Vikings’ star defensive players.