It started out as a tweak. Back in August, the Vikings were confident that Danielle Hunter’s neck injury was a minor setback, and he would be able to rehab and return around week four.
Then, when week four rolled around, he wasn’t suiting up to play against the Texans. Instead, he was in New York, getting a second opinion on his injury.
Right before the week six game against Atlanta, we found out that the second opinion had revealed nothing. There were no answers regarding a timeline for his return. And now, the Vikings are shutting down Hunter for the rest of the 2020 season, and he will have season ending neck surgery to repair his herniated disk.
The #Vikings had been optimistic in August that DE Danielle Hunter could rehab and return. Instead, he'll undergo season-ending neck surgery.
So at 1-5, Minnesota now has lost both its top pass rushers: Yannick Ngakoue traded to Baltimore, and Hunter done for the season.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 22, 2020
The news comes just minutes after it was reported that the team’s other star defensive end, Yannick Ngakoue, was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2021 third round pick and conditional 2022 fifth round pick.
The bye week is normally a time for team’s to regroup and get healthy before making their push towards the end of the regular season, and instead, the Vikings defensive line is crumbling.
Obviously, this move is good for Hunter’s long term health, but it not only ends any hope of the star player helping turn around a terrible season, it also puts into question if we have seen Hunter’s final game in a Vikings’ uniform.