3 Outsiders Who Could Replace Injured Vikings Defender

Suh Picks the 8-1 Counterpart
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have not incurred injury luck in 2023, currently hosting 10 men on injured reserve heading into Week 12.

Defensive lineman Dean Lowry was the latest casualty, beset by a torn pectoral muscle on Sunday night in a loss at the Denver Broncos.

3 Outsiders Who Could Replace Injured Vikings Defender

And on Tuesday, the Vikings promoted practice squad defensive tackle Sheldon Day to the active roster, and the veteran could be on tap for more duty. But if Minnesota consults an outsider, a handful of intriguing free agents live on the open market.

Vikings to Showcase
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

These are those free-agent options in alphabetical order. The Vikings have around $7.3 million in cap space as of November 21st.

1. Michael Brockers

3 outsiders
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Age: 32
Previous Teams: Rams | Lions

Brockers played for the St. Louis and Los Angeles Rams from 2012 to 2020, crossing paths with current Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell in 2020. It was O’Connell’s first year as offensive coordinator, and the Rams’ 2020 defense was actually quite formidable. But an injury to Jared Goff buried the Rams’ Super Bowl hopes, and Goff was shipped to the Detroit Lions a few weeks later.

A month and a half later, Brockers, too, was traded to the Lions, netting a 7th-Round pick to Los Angeles. Brockers doesn’t quite have the Pro Bowl resume like the next two men, but he has played in 160 NFL games, starting 157.

O’Connell should know him somewhat well.

2. Akiem Hicks

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Age: 34
Previous Teams: Saints | Patriots | Bears | Buccaneers

In September, Vikings fans began a campaign on social media for Minnesota to sign Hicks, mere days after they felt their efforts involving Dalton Risner were successful.

The requests were so loud that Hicks responded on X. Hicks tweeted on September 22nd, “That Viking love has been nice all day, I appreciate the interest. Always had fun strappin it on against you. As a competitor, you hope to receive the respect of your opponent. The respect of the fan base is a very nice bonus. skol.”

So, at least the man was thinking about the Vikings, right?

Hicks fetched Pro Bowl honors in 2018 and is a notorious Viking killer. Every time his Bears took on the Vikings from 2016 to 2021, he had a little something special in store for the purple team. He played in Tampa Bay last year — likely chasing a Super Bowl trophy with Tom Brady — but wasn’t re-signed in the offseason.

Of all three options, this would probably excite Vikings fans the most.

3. Ndamukong Suh

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Age: 34
Previous Teams: Lions | Dolphins | Buccaneers | Rams | Eagles

Once the NFL’s version of The Baddest Man on the Planet, Suh’s career is winding down — and might be done already.

He last played for the Philadelphia Eagles, partaking in the Super Bowl, in fact, but falling short to the Kansas City Chiefs. Before the Eagles relationship, the Vikings were reportedly interested in Suh during the summer of 2022, but no deal materialized.

Now, Minnesota will be without Lowry the rest of the way, and if Suh is intrigued, O’Connell’s team is likely headed for the postseason, if only in a wildcard capacity.

Suh is a five-time Pro Bowler, a five-time All-Pro, and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Brady and Co. skunked the Chiefs in 2019.

He’d fit wonderfully inside Brian Flores’ suddenly good defense.

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.