Before Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, Marcus Davenport had only taken the field in a Minnesota Vikings uniform for a total of four defensive snaps during the first three weeks of the season due to an ankle injury.
But for the first time in the last month, Davenport got the opportunity to make a significant impact for the Vikings in their win over the Panthers on Sunday.
The veteran pass rusher was on the field for 45 defensive snaps in Carolina, and his presence on the field made an obvious difference for Minnesota.
Despite the Vikings only blitzing almost half as much as they did last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota's defense was still able to generate 15 pressures and five sacks in their win over the Panthers, including Davenport, who finished with three pressures and one sack.
Before playing on Sunday, Davenport was facing plenty of criticism from those outside of the locker room for the last few weeks. After the win over Carolina, the veteran pass rusher shared his gratitude for his teammates for helping him through a difficult first month of the season.
"I'm lucky [for] the way my teammates embraced me. I kind of blame myself for seeing some outside things, you know, people like to talk. Some points I had to take personal, some of the things I had to let go. But I was lucky in that I had people almost every day checking on me and telling me to keep my head up.
I'm a hater of the media right now because y'all hurt my feelings, but I'm past that. I'm just lucky to go out there and play with my teammates again."
If the Vikings are going to turn things around this season after starting 1-3, they're going to need Davenport's help, and his teammates know this.
In his first full game for Minnesota this year, the former first-round draft pick displayed why the Vikings were willing to sign him to a $13 million contract this offseason.
If Davenport's health will allow him to remain on the field for the majority of the 13 games left on Minnesota's schedule, then he's likely going to earn himself a raise when he becomes a free agent again in 2024.