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Doug Sutherland passes away at age 73


Minnesota Vikings vs St. Louis Cardinals, 1974 NFC Divisional Playoffs Photo by Dick Raphael /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

It’s a sad day for fans of the Minnesota Vikings today, as another important member of the team’s history has left us.

Former Vikings’ defensive tackle Doug Sutherland passed away on Tuesday at the age of 73.

Sutherland was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints out of the University of Wisconsin-Superior in the 14th round of the 1970 NFL Draft. After just one season with New Orleans, the Saints traded him to the Vikings, and Sutherland’s career took off.

He didn’t get any starts in his first three seasons with the Vikings, serving as the primary backup to Gary Larsen. He started eight games in Larsen’s place in 1974, and following Larsen’s retirement prior to the 1975 season, Sutherland stepped in as the starter and started every game for the Vikings over the next four seasons. Overall in his Vikings career, he started 90 out of the 138 games he was a member of the team for. . .only Alan Page, John Randle, and Kevin Williams have appeared in more games at defensive tackle for the Vikings than Sutherland.

For his career, according to the Vikings, he collected 484 tackles and 27.5 sacks.

Mark and Zygi Wilf released a statement about Sutherland’s passing:

“Doug Sutherland was one of our proudest Legends. His humble nature did not allow for him to talk much about his own playing career, but Doug was a key member of some of the best defenses in NFL history and three Super Bowl teams. Doug was also the consummate teammate after football. He was one of the most active members of Vikings Legends events and didn’t miss a chance to help out at a community event or lend a hand where needed. Our thoughts are with Doug’s friends and family.”

If you have any memories of Doug Sutherland from his playing days with the Vikings, please share them in the comments below.

We at The Daily Norseman send our condolences to the family and friends of Doug Sutherland on their loss.