Report: Another Vikings Starter Could Be Headed to IR

The Minnesota Vikings earned their second victory of the 2023 season in Week 6 by defeating the Chicago Bears 19-13 on Sunday.

It was also the first game that the Vikings had to play without Justin Jefferson, who headed to IR after suffering a hamstring injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the aftermath of this Week 6 win, though, it appears that another Vikings starter could soon be on his way to injured reserve as well: OLB Marcus Davenport.

Another Vikings Starter Could Be Headed to IR

Another Vikings Starter
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers place kicker Eddy Pineiro (4) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Marcus Davenport (0) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Davenport left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury after playing just 17 defensive snaps. It initially seemed like it may have been a re-aggravation of the injury that hindered him over the first three weeks of the season.

However, following the game, Kevin O’Connell revealed that this injury occurred to the opposite ankle, but at the time, he stated that more evaluation needed to be done to determine his status for Week 7’s Monday night matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

We then got another update on Monday evening, with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeting the following: “Vikings pass-rusher Marcus Davenport suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday’s win, sources said after the MRI. Those generally have a recovery time of 4-6 weeks, making Davenport an Injured Reserve candidate.”

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Marcus Davenport (0) and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97) rush during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Davenport signed with the Vikings this spring as a direct replacement for Za’Darius Smith, who Minnesota traded to the Cleveland Browns shortly afterwards that spring.

The outside linebacker played just four snaps over the course of the first three games of the season, though, because of his previous ankle injury. Davenport finally got onto the field for some substantial playing time in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers where he appeared in 45 defensive snaps and recorded 4 tackles and a sack.

Davenport then proceeded to start in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs and again recorded a sack in that game.

New Contract Details Have Emerged Regarding Recently Signed Vikings
Jan 2, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have been a bit of a concern with Davenport going back to his time with the New Orleans Saints. Prior to 2022, he had never played more than 13 games in a season, and he only appeared in 11 games during both the 2020 and 2021 campaigns.

If Rapoport’s reports are true, and Davenport is indeed headed to IR, that will put a pretty large dent in the Vikings pass-rush group. Danielle Hunter has been a superstar through the first six weeks (leading the league with 11 tackles for loss and 8 sacks), but Minnesota has not been able to find much consistent production other than Davenport and himself.

Especially with a very tough matchup against the 49ers coming up, this could prove to be a difficult loss to overcome defensively.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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