2 Vikings Honored with Player of the Month Awards

Defender Earns Sweet
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October was a great month for the Vikings, at least to some extent. The team entered the month with a horrendous 0-3 record. What already seemed like a lost season was turned around in October by winning four of the five games in that month. Not only did the team have success, but so did the individual players.

2 Vikings Honored with Player of the Month Awards

2 Vikings Honored With Player of the Month Awards
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) does a Lambeau Leap with Vikings fans Craig Lindsay, Nick Johnson, and Chris Gangl against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

On Thursday, the NFL announced its Players of the Month, and a couple of Vikings were chosen. Star defender Danielle Hunter earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Month award, and rookie wideout Jordan Addison earned Rookie of the Month.

Hunter is the top player in Brian Flores’ defense. He is the main disruptor up front. Opponents know that, but there is no stopping the former LSU defender. Through the five games in October, Hunter racked up 18 tackles, five sacks, and forced two fumbles.

His ten sacks lead the league, and if he continues to play that way, he will receive some consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Hunter has been a wonderful player for the Vikings throughout his tenure. He was a third-round choice of former general manager Rick Spielman in 2015. In the first two seasons, Hunter was used as a pass-rush specialist, rotating with starter Brian Robison, but he took over the full-time job in 2017.

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The defender with Jamaican roots has been unbelievably consistent in his career, with the exception of two injuries suffered in 2020 and 2021. He missed the full 2020 campaign with a herniated disk and tore his pec in 2021, limiting him to only seven games.

Many voiced concerns that he would never return to peak level after the injury struggles, but those folks have been proven wrong. The three-time Pro Bowler is on pace to earn another trip to the event.

Hunter has been incredibly important to the defense. On offense, with Justin Jefferson only playing in two of the five games, it was Addison who stepped up and turned heads.

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The rookie caught 23 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns in October alone, despite failing to catch a pass against the Panthers in Week 4. He is only trailing Tyreek Hill in receiving touchdowns in the 2023 season. Most pundits expected the Vikings to address the defense in the first round of the draft, but Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell decided to add another dangerous weapon to the mix. The plan was to take some load off Jefferson.

Addison showed flashes with Jefferson in the lineup but totally exploded once the reigning Offensive Player of the Year was placed on IR, dominating on Monday Night Football against the 49ers. He took over as the team’s top playmaker on offense.

The best thing about playing a few games without the top wideout is that Addison broke out. Once Jefferson returns, the duo will be one of the top receiver tandems in the league.

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Addison has already scored six times and collected 482 yards, leading all rookies in both categories. Those numbers might take a hit without starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Fellow rookie Jaren Hall or one of the veterans Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens will still try to target the flashy rookie.

The Vikings have just found their rhythm in October. A goal for the team must play even better in November to compensate for the loss of their quarterback.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt