VIKINGS REPORT: Pass rusher Danielle Hunter misses second straight practice

Fullback C.J. Ham and defensive tackle Jonathan Bullard also missed practice.

NFL: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter celebrates the win against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, 2022.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

EAGAN, Minn. -- The availability of Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter for Sunday’s game in Detroit is starting to come into question. After missing Wednesday’s practice with an illness, Hunter was absent from Thursday’s practice. It’s unclear if he will be healthy enough to play against the Lions on Sunday.

Danielle Hunter

Meanwhile, fullback C.J. Ham (illness) and defensive tackle Jonathan Bullard (biceps) also missed Thursday’s practice at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.

The good news for the Vikings is veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson and veteran safety Harrison Smith returned after missing Wednesday’s practice with an illness. They should be good to go for the Lions game.

Left tackle Christian Darrisaw continues to practice in a limited capacity as he works his way back from a concussion. He hasn’t played since Thanksgiving when he suffered his second concussion of the season during a game against the New England Patriots.

Revenge game

It’s no secret that tight end T.J. Hockenson is looking forward to playing his former team this weekend. He was as shocked as anyone that the Lions flipped him to the Vikings at the trade deadline.


“I figured they might not want to see me twice a year,” Hockenson said. “I think that’s a fair thing to say, so that’s why I didn’t assume it was going to be in the division. I’m happy it is. I get to play them twice a year.”

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Commanders
Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson runs after a catch Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, against the Washington Commanders. In his first game with the Vikings, Hockenson had nine catches for 70 yards.
Brad Mills / USA Today Sports

Though some of that excitement stems from the fact that Hockenson will get to see former teammates on a regular basis, he also wants to make them pay for trading him.

“It is what it is,” he said. “Just an opportunity to play my old team twice a year. This is the first time, so we’ll see how it goes. This isn’t the last time either. It’s a good feeling.”

Rising star

No matter how long rookie receiver Jameson Williams plays in the NFL, there will always be a part of his story attached to the Vikings.

That’s because they could have drafted Williams with the No. 12 pick in the 2022 draft. He was on the board when the Vikings were on the clock. As everyone knows by now, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded the pick to the Lions, who drafted Williams.

After recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Williams made his NFL debut last week in the Lions’ 40-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played eight snaps in the game and did not catch a pass.

Winners to be announced at the NFL Honors event on Feb. 9
Jefferson led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards in his third season. He would become the first wideout ever to win AP MVP honors.
Ultimately, hiring a defensive coordinator will be O’Connell’s call, and he has to nail it
Analyst Jason Fitzgerald, using a possible cap number of $225 million, has the Vikings now at $24.55 million over the cap, which gives them the third-least amount of room among all NFL teams.
Minnesota fired Ed Donatell on Thursday after the Vikings’ first-round playoff loss to the New York Giants
Peterson, 32, will become a free agent in March after playing the past two seasons for Minnesota
The Vikings ranked No. 31 in the NFL in total defense during the regular season. The issues continued in the playoffs, when they gave up 431 total yards to the New York Giants.
The playoff game was a microcosm of the past few months with Donatell at the helm. No pressure. No adjustments. No success.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell, still in ‘evaluation mode,’ and had no news on whether the defensive coordinator will return
He played in every game, posting 264 carries for 1,173 yards, as well as 39 catches for 295 yards.

There’s a good chance Williams sees a lot more action this weekend. He’s already among the fastest players in the league, and his blazing speed is something the Vikings have to account for this weekend even if there isn’t a lot of film on him.

“There’s going to be a ton of unscouted looks that we haven’t seen with him in the lineup,” Peterson said. “We just have to wait and see how they’re going to utilize him in the offense moving forward. Hopefully we’ll get a beat on that sooner rather than later so we can try to keep the roof on top of the house.”



This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What To Read Next
Kick in final seconds sets up Kansas City vs. Philadelphia on Feb. 12
As of Sunday afternoon, the Wild (27-17-4, 58 points) are just clear of the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.
Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov, and Freddy Gaudreau all converted in the shootout, while Marc-Andre Fleury made a big save that proved to be the difference
Minnesota improved its record to 11-4 in January, including winning its last 3 games