The Vikings Injury News Worsens
The Minnesota Vikings injury woes will not relent.
Cam Akers (RB), Kirk Cousins (QB), Marcus Davenport (OLB), Justin Jefferson (WR, Designated for Return), Malik Knowles (WR), William Kwenkeu (LB), James Lynch (DL), Nick Mullens (QB), Chris Reed (OG, NFI List), and Oli Udoh (OT) are on injured reserve or the non-football injury list (NFI) as of November 14th.
The Vikings Injury News Worsens
And the IR rollcall increased on Tuesday as the club added linebacker Jordan Hicks.
The Vikings primary social media account tweeted Tuesday, “Vikings have placed LB Jordan Hicks on IR. RB Myles Gaskin has been signed to the practice squad and DL Michael Dogbe has been released from the practice squad.”
Hicks, suffering from compartment syndrome, now hits the shelf for at least four games and will be eligible to return in Week 16 at home versus the Detroit Lions.
Minnesota’s top four defensive players through 10 games, per Pro Football Focus, are Camryn Bynum (85.3), Jordan Hicks (76.7), Danielle Hunter (74.6), and Mekhi Blackmon (74.6), so the Hicks IR trip is especially disheartening.
Defensive coordinator Brian Flores said about the Hicks development, “This is a big loss. I’m just going to put it bluntly.”
Linebacker Brian Asamoah, a 3rd-Round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, may be on deck as Hicks’ immediate replacement, but Asamoah has — you guessed it — battled an injury, as well, an ankle ailment that has limited his possible playing time in recent weeks. Asamoah was not active in Week 10.
The Vikings signed Anthony Barr, a free agent, on Monday, and he’s presumably on deck to fill some of Hicks’ responsibility, particularly if Asamoah is not 100% healthy. Barr played for the Vikings for eight seasons, so on top of a season already becoming more fun by the moment, Minnesota’s front office hit fans with a reunion angle.
Hicks posted on the X app Tuesday morning, “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me the past few days and for all of your continued prayers. The surgery was a huge success and I’m grateful for all of the doctors, nurses and medical staff who treated me.”
Through the season’s first three games, the Vikings ranked 26th in the NFL per defensive EPA/Play. But after Week 10, Flores’ group now ranks ninth per the same metric.
Thankfully for the Vikings sake, the team has overcome injuries without blinking an eye since Justin Jefferson went down in Week 5. Flores will task Asamoah or Barr with picking up the slack in Hicks’ absence, a daunting task. Veteran linebackers Troy Dye and Nick Vigil remain available for depth.
PFF classifies Hicks as the NFL’s 19th-best linebacker through 10 weeks, not bad for a 31-year-old veteran. He’s banked 87 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 passes defended, a sack, a touchdown, and a forced fumble in 2023.
The Cleveland Clinic describes compartment syndrome, Hicks’ injury, like this: “Compartment syndrome is a painful condition, with muscle pressure reaching dangerous levels. Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency, usually caused by trauma, like a car accident or broken bone. Chronic (or exertional) compartment syndrome is caused by intense, repetitive exercise and usually stops with rest or changes in routine.”
Minnesota travels to Colorado for a date with the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football and is a 2.5-point underdog.
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).