5 players the Vikings can’t afford to lose to injury in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter – Minnesota Vikings /

Danielle Hunter – DE

The Vikings pass rush is in good hands with Danielle Hunter and Ifeadi Odenigbo as the starters in 2020. Hunter is one of the best in the NFL today and is still a bit underrated despite racking up 14.5 sacks for two straight seasons. Odenigbo is coming off a breakout year where he was able to tally seven sacks of his own in a part-time role. He is due for an even bigger season in 2020.

These two form an exciting duo with loads of potential, but if Hunter gets hurt and ends up missing a handful of games or more, the Vikings’ defense could be in loads of trouble. Odenigbo would be the main edge rusher on the Vikings. Teams will be aware of that and will send double teams his way, and it’s unclear how Odenigbo would handle that and could be potentially shut down.

The reason they’ll pay so much attention to Odenigbo in this scenario is that the Vikings’ depth chart lacks experience and talent. The Vikings currently have two rookies and two veterans on the depth chart.

The rookies are exciting as D.J. Wonnum was a personal favorite of Andre Patterson and he clearly sees potential in him. Kenny Willekes isn’t a physically imposing player but is a hard worker, who through sheer will, can get himself to the quarterback.

Anthony Zettel and Eddie Yarbrough are the two veterans but neither has been very productive in over a year. There’s a chance one of these four busts out, but to rely on a rookie or a veteran who hasn’t played much recently, is a huge risk and one that is unlikely to pay off.