Kevin O’Connell revealed today that Minnesota Vikings’ starting tight end TJ Hockenson suffered an ACL and MCL ligament tear in Sunday’s game against the Lions, requiring surgery and ending his season. He’ll also likely be on a rehab schedule following surgery that could extend into the early part of next season as well, depending on his progress.
Starting defensive end DJ Wonnum also suffered a season-ending injury, a torn quad muscle requiring surgery and a significant rehab schedule that will likely keep him out of practices next off-season. Wonnum is also in the last year of his contract, so his injury casts some doubt on what the Vikings will elect to do with him next year, despite him having his best season as a pro this year.
Additionally, O’Connell said Jordan Addison and Mekhi Blackmon, who suffered ankle and shoulder injuries, respectively, during the Lions’ game, are ‘day-to-day,’ meaning they could potentially play next Sunday against the Packers.
The Vikings continue to have one of their worst seasons for injuries to key players. They’ve already lost starting QB Kirk Cousins for the season, lost top wide receiver Justin Jefferson for half the season, one of their biggest off-season acquisitions in Marcus Davenport, Cam Akers, Jordan Hicks for several games, and multiple starting offensive linemen for multiple games.
Overall, the Vikings have been the worst-hit team offensively in terms of injuries measured by the PFF wins-above-replacement (WAR) metric, and losing Hockenson only adds to that. Defensively, Wonnum was technically the backup to Marcus Davenport, who’s been on IR or inactive almost the entire season.
These latest injuries leave the Vikings limping toward the end of the regular season, but still with a chance to make the playoffs despite everything that’s gone wrong this season.