Michael Pierce opting out of 2020 season due to respiratory issues

The Minnesota Vikings lost Linval Joseph to free agency in 2020, leaving a big hole along the defensive line. The team signed Michael Pierce in hopes to fill that void, but it sounds as if he will not be playing this season.

Pierce was the likely candidate to start at nose tackle for the Vikings, a position that lacks depth. The Vikings will likely be forced to use some of their rookie talent along the defensive line.

With Everson Griffen still deciding where he wants to play in 2020, Ifeadi Odenigbo is the favorite to replace the former Vikings pass rusher. Without Pierce, it’s likely that Armon Watts, Jaleel Johnson, Hercules Mata’afa, Jaylyn Holmes or James Lynch will see an increased role in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

The defensive line was already listed to have some question marks, with the play of Shamar Stephen descending in the three-technique. It will be interesting to see what the defensive coaches can come up with to try and fill the void of losing the starting nose tackle.

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