There’s Potentially Good News on One Forgotten Viking

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have a straightforward assignment in the next three weeks — win two of the following three games and waltz into the postseason,

Those games are against the Detroit Lions this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the following Sunday versus the Green Bay Packers at the same venue, and at Detroit to finish the 2023 campaign.

There’s Potentially Good News on One Forgotten Viking

And with any luck, outside linebacker Marcus Davenport could be involved in one of those games. The veteran pass rusher has been missing since Week 6 with a high ankle sprain, but a brief update was provided on Wednesday.

News on One Forgotten
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted, “Asked Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell today about Marcus Davenport, who hasn’t played since Week 6 in Chicago. Had ankle surgery. KOC said Davenport has progressed, and Davenport was walking well in locker room today at minimum. Timing, of course, a factor.”

D.J. Wonnum has stepped up as a starter in Davenport’s stead and performed quite well. In fact, Wonnum has played so efficiently that many Vikings fans have forgotten about Davenport or at least stopped complaining about his injured reserve trip.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In mid-November, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted, “LB Marcus Davenport ended up having the ‘tightrope’ procedure on his ankle sprain and is not ready to return from IR, per Kevin O’Connell. Still hope that he could get back by the end of the season, O’Connell said.”

That surgery is described like this by The Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center: “Tightrope surgery has become more popular in the last year or so due to some cases of famous athletes having the procedure and subsequent features on ESPN. But what exactly is this surgery and when is it necessary? The tightrope is a device made by Arthrex, an orthopedic implant company, that is used to stabilize the syndesmosis after an injury. This device allows FLEXIBLE fixation, an improvement over the previously RIGID forms of fixation.”

Flashing Lights Could
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Davenport was technically eligible to return from IR as early as last month, but it became apparent weeks ago that his recovery would bleed into December — and now, perhaps January.

On October 1st, Davenport tallied 4 tackles, 2 pressures, a sack, a QB hit, and a tackle for loss in Charlotte, aiding the Vikings toward their first victory of 2023 over the Panthers, which was desperately needed if the club wanted to contend for the postseason. It was a welcome-to-Minnesota moment for Davenport. The vision to pair him with Danielle Hunter was in full effect and even emulated last year’s early-season success involving Hunter and Za’Darius Smith.

Contribution from Free
Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Marcus Davenport addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Davenport joined the Vikings in March of 2023 after four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

To date, Davenport has logged 6 QB pressures, 2 sacks, and 2 tackles for loss in 3 starts this season.

Minnesota has a 44.2% probability of reaching the postseason after Week 15, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). If Davenport does not return in 2023, the aforementioned Wonnum and Hunter will continue to hold down EDGE responsibilities, along with Patrick Jones and rookie Andre Carter.

Davenport is scheduled to hit free agency in March.


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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

Share: