When the Vikings traded for Yannick Ngakoue, we assumed that this would be an elite pass rush with him joining Danielle Hunter on either end of the defensive line. Then, it was reported before week one that Hunter would not be playing week one against Green Bay due to a “tweak”. After that, he went on IR.
Now, Hunter is eligible to come off IR…but he isn’t even in the state of Minnesota.
Mike Hughes (neck) has been ruled out of the Texans game and Kris Boyd (hamstring) is doubtful to play. According to Mike Zimmer, DE Danielle Hunter, who has a cervical spine disc herniation, per source and remains on IR, is in New York to get a second opinion on his injury.
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) October 2, 2020
It turns out Hunter has traveled to New York to get a second opinion on his “tweak” in his neck. While Coach Zimmer still won’t confirm that Hunter is suffering from a neck injury, it has been reported that the issue is in fact a cervical spine disc herniation. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin also reported that her sources originally told her that Minnesota was quietly expecting Hunter to be out for at least six to eight weeks.
This raises the question, is it even worth Hunter returning this season?
If we look at Minnesota’s next five weeks assuming Hunter can return after that, they are at Houston, at Seattle, home versus Atlanta, on bye, and then at Green Bay. How many wins do you see in there unless things suddenly make a 180 on both sides of the ball? One? Two if they’re lucky?
Danielle Hunter is 25 years old this year, and he hopefully has at least 5-10 more years in this league. I don’t think it’s worth taking a chance rushing him back to a 1-6 or 2-5 team even if he’s 85-90% healthy by week nine.
It’s looking more and more like the Vikings are going to just try to get through the 2020 campaign as best they can and leave licking their wounds in December.