A New Viking Will Be the First Player to Don No. 0

Best Move of the Vikings Offseason
Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) rush off the field against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the NFL announced that players would be eligible to wear No. 0 on their jerseys for the first time in league history during the 2023 season. Ever since that announcement took place, fans have been trying to figure out which Viking would be the first to don the number on their jerseys.

Some have speculated that it could be undrafted free agent linebacker Ivan Pace Jr., since that is the number he wore during college. However, we found out yesterday that the rookie linebacker will wear No. 40 instead.

Rather, it is going to be one of the new Viking free agent signings that will switch to No. 0 for the 2023 season. That player is EDGE Marcus Davenport as reported by Will Ragatz.

A New Vikings Will Be the First Player to Don No. 0
Nov 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Davenport, a former 2018 first-round pick, spent his first five seasons with the New Orleans Saints before signing with the Vikings during the early stages of free agency. In those five years with the Saints, he was a bit of an inconsistent player, largely because of injuries.

During his tenure, Davenport played in 63 games while recording 142 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 7 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. In 2022, he recorded just half a sack over 15 games, but part of this is due to the fact that he was playing alongside Cam Jordan and David Onyemata.

The half a sack number doesn’t change that Davenport still recorded 34 pressures in those 15 games, per PFF, and has had 30+ in every season of his career. He also recorded 42 pressures and 9 sacks over just 11 games in 2021. He knows how to get to the quarterback when he’s healthy enough to play; the trouble has simply been staying healthy.

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) is pressured by New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Davenport is plenty capable of winning reps against offensive linemen due to a freakish combination of length, power, and speed. Especially with some uncertainty regarding the future of Za’Darius Smith, the Vikings first No. 0 should play a large role in Minnesota’s defense this season.

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.