After suffering a season-ending injury on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the future of Danielle Hunter with the Minnesota Vikings is in doubt.
As if losing to a Dallas Cowboys team without Dak Prescott inside your own building wasn’t brutal enough, the Minnesota Vikings found out on Monday that star defensive end Danielle Hunter will miss the remainder of the 2021 season due to a torn pectoral muscle.
For a team that still has playoff hopes this year, this is a devastating blow for Minnesota and their chances of getting back to the postseason.
Hunter missed the entire 2020 campaign due to a neck injury and it resulted in the Vikings’ pass rush being basically non-existent last year. His return this season was felt immediately as Minnesota was back to putting constant pressure on the opposing quarterback. Now, the Vikings must figure out a way to make sure their pass rush doesn’t resemble its form from 2020.
Is Danielle Hunter done playing for the Minnesota Vikings?
Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Minnesota and Hunter agreed to a re-worked contract which created a scenario that could have potentially resulted in a big payday for the defensive end in 2022.
But with Hunter’s latest injury, that big payday is definitely in doubt, at least with the Vikings. In his current deal, he can either receive an $18 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the new league year in 2022, become a free agent, or sign an extension with Minnesota before that bonus becomes official.
Following the first seven weeks of the 2021 season, it seemed like a guarantee that Hunter was going to end up earning a new, lucrative contract from the Vikings next year. But after his latest injury, Minnesota might not want to give a bunch of money to a player that is now on track to miss 75 percent of the last two seasons.
The good news is that Hunter is still just 27-years-old and he was playing at a very high level before his injury. In his seven games this season, the Vikings pass rusher had already accumulated 38 tackles (six for a loss), 21 pressures, 10 quarterbacks hits, and six sacks.
When Hunter is able to eventually get back on the field after recovering from his current injury, will he still be suiting up in a Minnesota uniform?