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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
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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.

vikings-mugs-danielle-hunter.jpeg
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.

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“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.

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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.”

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