Fears Confirmed: Vikings Rookie Lost for Season

Fears Confirmed: Vikings Rookie Lost for Season
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings passing defense ranks last in the NFL per passing yards allowed and lost a critical young asset on Tuesday.

Rookie cornerback Andrew Booth had meniscus surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2022 season.

Booth, 22, battled injury earlier this season, too, and played 105 defensive snaps and 40 special teams plays in 6 games during his first NFL season.

Grim Injury News for Vikings CB
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Like his high-round, draft-capital teammate Lewis Cine, Booth now sets sights on September for a return to the Vikings. Minnesota used the 2022 NFL Draft to improve defensively, selecting defenders with five of the first six picks, and the strategy has become a last-man-standing affair.

In Booth’s stead, Minnesota will presumably turn to Akayleb Evans in Week 13 against the New York Jets, although he has yet to be totally cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. Evans, also a rookie, was concussed during a win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. But the 4th-Rounder shined when given the opportunity and even started the 2022 season higher on the depth chart than the aforementioned Booth.

Meanwhile, third-year corner Cameron Dantzler is tentatively slated to return from his injury woes in Week 14 versus the Detroit Lions. He was hurt in Week 9 in Washington, starting the Vikings lollapalooza of cornerback injuries.

Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. © Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK.

On draft night back in April, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded the 34th overall pick to Green Bay for the 53rd and 59th picks. Moments later, Adofo-Mensah sent the 53rd, 77th, and 192nd picks to the Indianapolis Colts for the 42nd and 122nd picks. The 42nd pick was used on Booth. ESPN’s Jordan Reid ranked Booth Jr. as the draft class’ third-best cornerback seven months ago.

But Vikings fans will have to wait 10 months for Reid’s prophecy to possibly effectuate. Booth was targeted 13 times in 2022 by opposing quarterbacks, tallying a 108.0 passer-rating-against and a 45.3 Pro Football Focus grade.

Booth’s draft stock fell in the spring from Round 1 to Round 2 because of injury concerns.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).