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We could be Vikings, just for one game

With apologies to David Bowie

Minnesota Vikings v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Playing in the National Football League is a privilege afforded to very few individuals. They’re the best of the best by just about any measure, and even if they only take the field one time, they still get to hold the mantle of former NFL player.

Recently, ESPN talked to seven players that each appeared in the NFL for just one game. None of those players were connected to the Minnesota Vikings, but it did lead me to do a little bit of digging after my curiosity had been piqued.

According to Pro Football Reference, throughout the team’s history the Vikings have had 72 players that have appeared in just one game in purple. Some of them are names that you may recognize or have had high hopes for at one point, and others have long since been forgotten. Here’s the full list of players that have appeared in just one game for the Minnesota Vikings, with some notes for a few of the more memorable ones. And, yes, I’m guessing a lot of the guys listed for 1987 were strike replacements. Whatever. . .still counts.

  • John Adickes, C (1989)
  • Rufus Alexander, LB (2008)
  • Abdullah Anderson, DT (2020)
  • Adrian Awasom, DE (2008)
  • Rashad Baker, DB (2006)
  • Rick Bayless, RB (1989)
  • Nick Bebout, OT (1980)
  • Barry Bennett, DT (1989)
  • Conrad Bolston, DT (2007)
  • Larry Brown, WR (1987)
  • Mack Brown, RB (2017)
  • Tim Bryant, LB (1987)
  • Bill Cappleman, QB (1970)
  • Malcolm Carson, G (1984)
  • Jason Carter, WR (2006)
  • Kenny Clark, WR (2003)

He’s Daunte Culpepper’s cousin. Also, according to his Wikipedia page, the injury settlement he agreed to with the Vikings gives him an annual paycheck of $250,000. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

  • Marquis Cooper, LB (2006)
  • LeShun Daniels, G (1997)
  • Josh Doctson, WR (2019)

Man. . .remember how hyped some of us were when the Vikings traded for Josh Doctson?

  • Bill Dugan, G (1984)
  • Paul Faust, LB (1967)
  • Steve Finch, WR (1987)
  • Toniu Fonoti, G (2005)

He was supposed to be a potential long-term answer at guard. Not so much, no.

  • Josh Freeman, QB (2013)

Hoo boy, here’s the one that damn near everyone remembers, I would imagine. To this day, I don’t think we know whose idea it was to start Josh Freeman on a Monday night in New Jersey against the New York Giants, but it was a bad idea by any measure. Freeman had a disastrous outing, completing just 20-of-53. . .yes, fifty-three. . .passes for 190 yards and an interception as the Vikings scored zero offensive points in a 23-7 loss. The Vikings’ lone score was provided by a Marcus Sherels punt return. Woof.

  • Isaac Fruechte, WR (2016)
  • Phil Frey, RB (1987)
  • Willie Gillespie, WR (1987)
  • Steve Hall, DB (1996)
  • Shelley Hammonds, DB (1995)
  • Mark Hanson, G (1987)
  • Paul Harris, LB (1978)
  • Tae Hayes, DB (2020)
  • Hale Hentges, TE (2020)
  • Bruce Holmes, LB (1993)
  • Ron Israel, DB (2003)
  • Harold Jackson, WR (1982)
  • Shawn Jones, DB (1993)
  • Josh Kaddu, LB (2014)
  • Keith Kidd, WR (1987)
  • Bob Lacey, WR (1964)
  • Terry Love, DB (1987)
  • Greg Mancz, C (2022)
  • Maurice Mann, WR (2006)
  • Ted Million, G (1987)
  • Bryan Mills, DB (2021)
  • Myron Mitchell, WR (2021)
  • Kellen Mond, QB (2021)

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. . .another one we probably don’t need to talk too much about.

  • Leonard Moore, RB (1987)
  • Zach Moore, DE (2015)
  • Yo Murphy, WR (1999)
  • Martin Nance, WR (2006)

Nance only appeared on the field for the Vikings in the team’s season ending blowout loss to the St. Louis Rams in 2006. However, he now appears for the Vikings every day as their Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

  • Storm Norton, OT (2018)
  • Terry Obee, WR (1991)
  • Jeff Overbaugh, LS (2017)
  • Kurt Ploeger, DE (1987)
  • Art Powell, WR (1968)
  • Bob Sapp, G (1997)

Sapp is way more well-known for things he did away from football than anything he did on the football field, including a pro wrestling and fighting career.

  • Carey Scott, DB (2002)
  • Mike Slaton, DB (1987)
  • Jimmy Smith, RB (1987, which means he’s not that Jimmy Smith)
  • Khreem Smith, DE (2006)
  • Timothy Starks, DB (1987)
  • Joe Stepanek, DT (1987)
  • Eric Taylor, DT (2005)
  • Mike Teeter, DE (1991)
  • Andre Thomas, RB (1987)
  • Gino Torretta, QB (1993)

The former Heisman winner couldn’t even get on the field for the purple.

  • Mike Turner, G (1987)
  • Jay Walker, QB (1996 - 1997)
  • Brad White, DT (1987)
  • Ben Williams, DT (1998)
  • Max Yates, LB (2004)

And there you have it, folks. . .every player in Minnesota Vikings’ franchise history that has appeared in one regular season game. Any names that you remember or recognize that you might have had higher hopes for than what they produced for the Vikings?