Was Christian Darrisaw Snubbed?
On Wednesday evening the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl rosters were revealed. The Minnesota Vikings placed five players on the starting roster, of which three were from the offensive side of the ball (four if you count a long snapper). One notable omission however was the Vikings star left tackle. So, it begs the question, was Christian Darrisaw snubbed?
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Last season the Minnesota Vikings selected Darrisaw 23rd overall out of Virginia Tech. Left tackle had become a revolving door on a bad offensive line, and with so much money thrown at starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, it was crazy not to protect him. Mike Zimmer took his time before inserting Darrisaw into the lineup, but since he was named a starter, he’s never left.
This season Darrisaw has been nothing short of amazing. Through the first 12 weeks of the season, he was graded as the second-best offensive tackle in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. His 90 overall grade was otherworldly and was consistently on display simply through the eye test on a weekly basis.
With Darrisaw protecting the blindside, the entirety of Minnesota’s offense benefitted. Dalvin Cook has seen substantially better production with Darrisaw on the line, and Cousins has been given a greatly increased amount of time to work in the pocket. Darrisaw noted a desire to be named an All Pro a few weeks ago, and a trip to the Pro Bowl should’ve also been on the list.
Then he got hurt.
Darrisaw missed action in back-to-back games following concussions and then sat out for Weeks 12-14. It was imperative for both the player and the Minnesota Vikings that he return to health. Brain injuries stacked up in such a short time span is a very scary situation, and beyond that, having Darrisaw healthy for the playoffs is what the Vikings ultimate goal needed to be. Returning for Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts he came out unscathed, but the voting damage had been done.
While missing time, his competition continued to thrive. The tackle position in the NFL is loaded, and two of the players were always going to make the Pro Bowl. Both Trent Williams and Lane Johnson could be ticketed for Canton, so if they’re playing, they are in. With only one other spot to hand out a ticket to, it was decided that Tristan Wirfs would be the nominee. Darrisaw certainly has a case to be made that he should’ve been included in the top three, but it’s also hard to argue against any of that competition.
What missing out on the Pro Bowl can do for Darrisaw is allow a refocusing on what lies ahead. Minnesota has just three games left in the regular season, and they’ll rely on their star left tackle to move the opposition up front. This weekend presents a great opportunity for Cook to go off against a bad rush defense in the New York Giants. How much Darrisaw can impact that from the left tackle position remains to be seen, but he certainly will have the ability to spring long runs.
Beyond this weekend, and the regular season as a whole. Darrisaw and the Vikings are looking towards the prospects of a long playoff run. Hosting at least one home game, they’ll hope to rack up wins in January and be able to play their last game in February. If Darrisaw is playing for a ring, I’m sure he won’t mind missing out on some action for the Pro Bowl.
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Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.