Is Danielle Hunter participating in the Vikings OTA practices?

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /

Expected to be back on the field for the 2021 season, is Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter one of the players taking part in the team’s OTA sessions this year?

It’s been quite a while since Danielle Hunter last put on a helmet and pads for the Minnesota Vikings.

Hunter hasn’t even taken part in a practice with the Vikings since last summer’s training camp, which is when his issues with his neck started to become a significant problem.

Hunter‘s injured neck ultimately cost him the entire 2020 season and Minnesota’s pass rush suffered tremendously without him on the field. However, the Vikings have made it clear multiple times this year that they expect the talented defensive end to back on the field for them during the upcoming 2021 campaign.

Was Danielle Hunter in attendance during the Minnesota Vikings OTA practice on Monday?

On Monday, Minnesota held their first OTA practice of the year. Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, Justin Jefferson, Harrison Smith, and the majority of the current Vikings roster all took part in the session.

Judging from the media Minnesota shared on Monday, however, Hunter did not appear to be a participant in the practice.

Hunter was not seen in any of the video clips the Vikings posted on their social media accounts on Monday and he also was not in any of the photos from the practice the team shared on their official website.

Does this mean that Hunter was not at Minnesota’s practice facilities on Monday? Not necessarily, as he could’ve been working out inside while the rest of the team practiced outside, or he could’ve even just observed the OTA session as a non-participant from the sidelines.

If Hunter truly did not participate in Monday’s practice, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned about the situation.

First, let’s look at it optimistically and just consider that the Vikings are still trying to bring him back slowly from his neck injury to avoid any possibility of re-injury.

Then, of course, there is the chance that he’s unhappy with his current contract situation, and he’s using his right as a player to not take part in the voluntary OTA sessions. If this is the case, it would be disappointing since he would be missing out on his first opportunity to take practice reps with some of Minnesota’s newest players like Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce.

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With Hunter not being featured in any of the media shared by the Vikings on Monday, hopefully he was just somewhere at the team’s practice facility doing his own workout. But this is certainly something to keep an eye on during the next few days.