Don’t rely on Ngakoue if he’s not 100 percent healthy
We mentioned previously that the Vikings were unable to generate much pressure on Aaron Rodgers during their Week 1 loss to the Packers. This was a bit surprising since it was the debut of new Minnesota defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and many expected him to make life a little tougher for Rodgers.
However, Ngakoue was reportedly dealing with an ankle injury last week and it might have been what prevented him from making any sort of impact for the Vikings defense in Week 1.
Despite his reported injury, Minnesota’s new pass rusher was still on the field for 56.4 percent of the team’s
defensive snaps last week. During his time on the field, Ngakoue was only able to register one quarterback knockdown and one pressure.
Against Green Bay, that sort of production from someone who is supposed to be your No. 1 pass rusher while Danielle Hunter is out just isn’t going to cut it.
Ngakoue has been with the Vikings for less than a month, so he’s obviously still learning how the team’s defense works. But maybe his reported ankle injury really was affecting his ability to generate pressure last week.
If this was the case and it ends up being the case again in Week 2, Zimmer needs to utilize the other pass rushers on his roster.
Eddie Yarbrough was only on the field for around 30 percent of Minnesota’s defensive snaps last week, but he was still able to generate just as many pressures and knockdowns as Ngakoue and he even added in a pair of tackles (Ngakoue had zero tackles against the Packers).
If the pass-rushing abilities of the Vikings newest defensive end are truly being affected in a negative way by his reported ankle injury, then the team needs to rely less on him in Week 2 so that he can have a chance to recover and be at full strength by the time Hunter returns to the field.
There’s no sense in having Ngakoue trot out there on an injured ankle when it results in him barely being able to get to the opposing quarterback. Maybe it will be a different story in Week 2, but Minnesota’s defense can’t continue on much longer this season with their defensive line hardly generating any pressure.