One of the biggest storylines circulating throughout the Vikings offseason was whether or not Danielle Hunter was going to hold out. He wasn’t in attendance throughout all the OTA practices, but it was reported on Monday morning that he’s expected to be at minicamp this week.
Hunter missed all the 2020 season after undergoing neck surgery. In the two seasons prior he totaled 14.5 sacks each season, a mark that led the team both years.
This offseason the Vikings clearly made it a priority to fix some of the issues the defense had in 2020. They added free agents like Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, Nick Vigil, Stephen Weatherly and most recently Bashaud Breeland.
All of these signings should help boost last year’s 29th ranked scoring defense but heading into the season without Hunter would have been disastrous. Yannick Ngakoue led the 2020 Vikings with five sacks, and he only played in a total of six games for Minnesota.
Having Hunter back on the roster will add veteran leadership in the pass rushing group. The Vikings added a duo of defensive ends through the draft, but they were both mid-round picks that still need developing.
After the worst defensive season in the Mike Zimmer era it was obvious the front office had to patch up several holes throughout the offseason. Getting Hunter back on the practice field is the last piece of the puzzle and it will be confirmed on Tuesday when minicamp kicks off.
All systems are now a go for the Vikings defense, and it’s fair for fans to expect a bounce back season in 2021.
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