Indy Cuts Former Vikings Starter after Outstanding Revenge Game in Week 15

If there can be a standout player for a team that blew a 33-0 lead, it was former Vikings starter Ifeadi Odenigbo. The defensive end joined the Indianapolis Colts for the 2022 season, and in Week 15, he had about as outstanding a revenge game as he could have hoped.

Overall, Odenigbo played 20 snaps on the defensive side, and he recorded two tackles. Perhaps that wouldn’t be a huge impact, until you consider the fact that one of these tackles was a sack and the other was a tackle for loss. He also played a single special teams snap on the day. On that snap, he just happened to block a Ryan Wright punt that was returned for a touchdown.

Oct 16, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram (17) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (59) and linebacker Zaire Franklin (44) in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, that revenge game simply wasn’t enough for the Colts because after the game, they waived the defensive end. In 13 games for the Colts, Odenigbo recorded 12 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 3 TFLs. He was one of six players for Indy to record at least 3.5 sacks this season.

Odenigbo was selected in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he was waived by Minnesota prior to the season’s start. He didn’t make an appearance on an NFL roster during that 2017 season, but he was picked up by the Cardinals in 2018 and played a single game for them. He recorded one tackle in that game.

Towards the end of the season, Arizona waived him, and Odenigbo found his way back to Minnesota with the team that initially drafted him. 2019 was a breakout season for the pass rusher, and he appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Vikings and both playoff games. In the end, he recorded 23 tackles, 7 TFLs, 7.0 sacks, and a pair of fumble recoveries. One of these fumbles he returned all the way back for a touchdown.

During the 2020 season, he finally became a starter for the Vikings, and he started all 15 games that he played. However, the production was a significant drop from 2019, and he put together 35 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 3.5 sacks. That being said, he recorded a career-high 15 QB hits.

Due to the lack of production in a non-playoff year for the Vikes, Minnesota let him walk in free agency during the 2021 offseason. Initially, the Giants signed him, but they cut Odenigbo prior to the season’s start, and he landed in Cleveland with the Browns.

Aug 17, 2022; Westfield, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (59) during training camp Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer/IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK

Odenigbo played nine games for the Browns and recorded 13 tackles as well as his third career fumble recovery. After that season, Cleveland let him go, and that’s how he landed in Indianapolis with the Colts. Overall, Odenigbo has now played 54 NFL regular season games and has recorded 84 tackles, 13 TFLs, 14.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries.

The release from the Colts is surprising because he was a very reliable rotational player for them throughout the season. Now, though, he has a chance to catch on with a contender. Perhaps that path could land him back in Minnesota for the third time.

The Vikings have struggled to establish a pass rush at times this season, and throughout his career, Odenigbo has found ways to get to the QB. This has put pressure on a secondary to play sticky coverage that has been short-handed for much of the season.

The seventh-year veteran could be a missing piece towards the Vikings establishing a consistent pass rush. At any rate, Odenigbo will likely find himself on another NFL roster soon given his production this year, whether that be the Vikings or some other playoff team.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.