The Minnesota Vikings defensive end has missed more than 10 practices this summer.
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings made a big trade and landed defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the new combination of Ngakoue and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings should have one of the best pass-rushing duos in the entire NFL during the upcoming season.
Of course, all of this excitement has to be put on hold until Hunter is able to return to the field. The 25-year-old defensive end did not participate in Minnesota’s practice on Sunday and he’s now missed over 10 practices during the team’s training camp this summer with an undisclosed injury.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Sunday that the team is, “being cautious,” with Hunter right now. But Zimmer didn’t give any indication if the defensive end will be ready to play by Week 1 or not.
Injury not expected to keep the Minnesota Vikings pass rusher out for too long
As worrisome as it might be to not see Hunter out on the practice field for the last few weeks, the current injury that he’s dealing with doesn’t appear to be too serious.
Following Minnesota’s trade for Ngakoue on Sunday, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero mentioned that Hunter hasn’t been practicing due to, “precautionary reasons,” and that the veteran defensive end is not, “expected to miss extended time.”
This report from Pelissero should at least provide some relief for Vikings fans. Until an actual injury report comes out though, it will be hard to truly determine if Hunter will be able to suit up for Minnesota’s Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers in two weeks.
Even if he’s not at 100 percent, however, the Vikings could still use him as a situational pass rusher for the team’s first game or two of the season until they feel he is ready to get back to being on the field for the majority of the defensive snaps.
So will we see the debut of Minnesota’s new starting defensive end duo of Hunter and Ngakoue during the team’s first game of the season against the Packers? That is still to be determined, but it seems like the Vikings are taking every precaution necessary to make sure their top two defensive ends are out on the field and chasing down Aaron Rodgers in Week 1.