The Marcus Davenport Injury Update Is a Mixed Bag

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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.

The 2023 Minnesota Vikings have suffered a litany of injuries, and it somehow hasn’t mattered.

It’s one of those seasons in Minnesota where men get hurt, and the engine keeps humming. The most recent example was 2017, and while the Vikings have a long path ahead to replicate that campaign, the framework for a mimicked season has been built.

The Marcus Davenport Injury Update Is a Mixed Bag

Sooner or later, big-name players like Justin Jefferson and Marcus Davenport will return, but for now, the Vikings have maintained winning ways, checking off five straight victories and rectifying their season to the tune of a 6-4 record.

Jefferson is expected to return from a hamstring injury this weekend or next, but the outlook for Davenport isn’t as fruitful. The verdict on Davenport heading into Week 11 is essentially he’ll be back at some point.

Marcus Davenport Injury
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted Monday, “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.”

The Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center describes the surgery like this: “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.”

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

A few weeks ago, soon after Davenport’s high ankle sprain, head coach Kevin O’Connell alluded to an impending procedure for the pass rusher, and that evidently occurred.

On paper, Davenport is eligible to return from injured reserve as early as now, but that obviously won’t happen five days before the Vikings take on the Denver Broncos, and a more realistic recovery timeline probably bleeds into December.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

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.

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

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

Thankfully for the Vikings sake, Davenport’s teammate, D.J. Wonnum, has stepped up in his absence, filling the void and then some. Wonnum, a four-year veteran, was used mostly as a reservist pass rusher before 2023 but has turned the corner in the last month into a bonafide starter.

In 10 games, Wonnum has notched 38 total tackles, 11 QB hits, 5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown.

So, when Davenport returns down the road, the Vikings will have oodles of pass-rushing options, a wonderful circumstance for a team that appears playoff-bound.

Minnesota has an 86.0% probability of reaching the postseason after Week 10, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).


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.

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