Before he even stepped on the field for a game in the 2023 regular season, Minnesota Vikings Marcus Davenport was presented with plenty of criticism from the team's fan base, and from some who report on the franchise.
Due to an ankle injury, Davenport was only able to be on the field for a total of four defensive snaps in Minnesota's first three games of the 2023 season. The criticism of the Vikings newcomer only grew more during these three weeks as fans grew impatient with the player the team signed to a one-year, $13 million deal during the offseason.
But following Minnesota's Week 4 win over the Carolina Panthers when Davenport was able to accumulate four tackles (including one for a loss) and one sack, suddenly, the outside criticism vanished. Unfortunately, this criticism from some parts of the Vikings fan base has appeared to return, thanks in part to some recent careless speculation from a local Twin Cities reporter.
Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Marcus Davenport has his desire to return unfairly questioned
Back in October, Minnesota placed Davenport on injured reserve after he suffered an ankle sprain during the team's Week 6 win over the Chicago Bears.
It's now been over two months since his injury, so some believed the veteran pass rusher would be back on the field for the Vikings by now, but his return window still has not been activated by the team.
So Davenport still remains on injured reserve, and Minnesota hasn't really provided much to the public about his recovery timetable.
Despite there being a lot of unknown about the pass rusher's injury, KSTP's Darren Wolfson recently took the opportunity to question the player's desire to return this season during an episode of SKOR North's "Minnesota Sports with Mackey & Judd" podcast.
Here's what Wolfson had to say about Davenport.
"There has been optimism in the building going back weeks that, hey, [Davenport] will be back, it is not a season-ending injury.
He does have incentive to play. He gets paid bonuses if he's active.
But there's still some desire questions there. Ultimately, it's the player. The player really has to want it.
Put it this way, I don't foresee any scenario where Marcus Davenport is back in purple next year."
It's pretty gross of Wolfson to question the desire of a guy who was willing to get part of his finger amputated in 2022 so that he could return to playing for the New Orleans Saints.
We also don't know if Davenport is dealing with anything off of the field when it comes to relationships with friends or family. He's someone who has admitted to struggling with his mental health in the past and not being able to play due to an injury certainly isn't going to help with any possible struggles outside of the locker room.
There's just really no need to question Davenport's desire to return. Wolfson could have just shared the information about the team being optimistic about him possibly returning and the monitary incentive that the pass rusher has to get back on the field and just left it at that.
But instead, Wolfson had to carelessly state that people should question Daveport's desire to return to the field.
This gross speculation has only led to further commentary about the Vikings pass rusher from the team's fan base and from a few others who cover the team online, and all of it is negative.
After his performance against the Panthers earlier this season, Davenport referred to himself as a "hater of the media," and after this recent uneccessary speculation about his desire to play, it's not difficult to understand why he feels this way.
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