The Vikings’ Top 3 News Items from This Week

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 15
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The Super Bowl is one week away, with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Minnesota Vikings were excluded from the postseason four weeks ago.

The Vikings’ Top 3 News Items from This Week

Soon, free agency will get underway when “legal tampering” hits the calendar on March 11th.

Items from This
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In the meantime, these were the Vikings’ top three news items of Offseason Week No. 4. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. T.J. Hockenson Has Knee Surgery

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Monday, “Vikings’ TE T.J. Hockenson underwent surgery today to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament. The surgery was led by Dr. Neal ElAttrache from the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif.”

Hockenson tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions after a dirty hit from notorious Lions safety Kerby Joseph, ending his 2023 campaign and perhaps jeopardizing the beginning of the 2024 regular season.

The veteran tight end was on the cusp of becoming the Vikings’ first 1,000+ yard tight end in 42 years before the knee injury. Joe Senser achieved the mark in 1981, and Hockenson fell 40 yards short.

While he likely won’t be ready for Week 1 in September, October feels like a reasonable timetable to return.

2. Danielle Hunter a Bit Noncommital about Return to MIN

Sack Master
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Hunter told reporters at the Pro Bowl this weekend, “Just letting everything play its course. I did my job. Everything’s in my agent’s hands and my team — and whomever it is that’s out there. My job, like I said, is to do my job. And I’m gonna make sure I stay in shape, and whatever is best available for me, I’ll take that.”

He had previously stated — a few times — that he wants to remain Viking for life.

Hunter’s comments at the Pro Bowl appear to walk back that certainty a little bit.

1. Brian Flores Stays Put

Flores Flourish
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The annual January coaching carousel is complete after the Washington Commanders hired Dan Quinn from the rival Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. Five coaches with defensive backgrounds took head coaching gigs while three “offense-first” skippers filled out the class.

Brian Flores was totally absent from the names. The man didn’t even fetch an interview.

Minnesota hired Flores one year ago after one season of Ed Donatell’s leadership. Flores improved the defense immediately, transforming his unit to the NFL’s 11th-best in 2023 from 24th in 2022 per DVOA. The relationship worked, and now Flores is on tap for Year No. 2 in Minnesota.

The rumor mill suggested Flores would only jump at the big job if a sturdy franchise had an HC opening, as he appeared to experience a raw deal with the Miami Dolphins after the 2021 season ended. Flores coached the Dolphins from 2019 to 2021 before cutting ties in rather controversial fashion.

Unless something unforeseen occurs in the next few months, the Vikings will have complete coaching continuity in 2024.

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).

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