5 Vikings players who could take a step backward in 2020

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo /

Ifeadi Odenigbo – DE

I have to preface this by saying I love Ifeadi Odenigbo and his story. This guy has had a strange NFL career, having come into the league with the Vikings and then having brief stints with the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals before returning to the purple and gold.

The light came on for Odenigbo a season ago and he finished the year with seven sacks and seven tackles for a loss. He made some big-time plays and he even scored his first career touchdown.

Everson Griffen left in free agency this year and that moved Odenigbo into a starter on Minnesota’s defense. He’s expected to improve upon his numbers a season ago and could see a lot of one-on-one opportunities as most teams will be focusing on stopping Danielle Hunter.

The only question that lingers and the reason why Odenigbo could take a step backward in 2020 is if what if last season was a fluke? Odenigbo hasn’t ever come close to showing the production and ability he did last year. Maybe the stars just aligned and Odenigbo was in the right place at the right time. Or maybe working as part of a rotation is what made him good?

Griffen isn’t going to be around anymore to spell him and he’ll be asked to see an increased snap count. Maybe he’ll tire quickly and not be able to be as explosive late in games as he is early in contests.

This may be a stretch, but until Odenigo shows he can handle being a full-time starter, there will be concerns about his ability to excel in that role. And it is fair to wonder if his production could decrease from his breakout season in 2019.