Surgery Not Ruled Out for Vikings OLB Marcus Davenport

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Marcus Davenport (0) pressures Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings brought in OLB Marcus Davenport to serve as a replacement for Za’Darius Smith, who requested to leave the team this spring and was traded to the Cleveland Browns.

However, injuries have limited Davenport’s ability to see the field this season. He has missed two games altogether and has played fewer than 20 snaps in two others.

In Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, Davenport suffered a high ankle sprain which landed him on IR, meaning he is out for at least the next four games. Kevin O’Connell then delivered some more bad news regarding the outside linebacker on Thursday afternoon.

Surgery Not Ruled Out for Vikings OLB Marcus Davenport

Surgery Not Ruled Out for Vikings OLB Marcus Davenport
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

During his press conference on Thursday, O’Connell did not rule out a potential surgery to repair Davenport’s ankle. He was asked about a timeline of the pass-rusher and said, “He’s still getting some opinions. A high ankle sprain, the severity of it sometimes can require a procedure.”

The head coach went on to say that he doesn’t have a definite answer for a timetable on Davenport’s recovery.

The former New Orleans Saint has been a very productive player for the Vikings when he’s been healthy to play. Davenport has a pair of sacks to his name over the course of his three starts while PFF has also credited him with 7 QB pressures.

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

Unfortunately, health simply hasn’t allowed the Vikings free agent acquisition to be on the field very much.

Davenport has appeared in just 118 defensive snaps through the first six weeks of the season. He began the year by missing two of the first three games with a completely separate ankle injury, and now, he is dealing with the sprain that landed him on injured reserve.

Injuries have been a consistent issue for the linebacker throughout his early NFL career. He was able to play in 15 games during the 2022 season, but he missed a combined 11 games between the 2020 and 2021 seasons with various ailments.

Oct 20, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The earliest that Davenport can return to the field is in Week 11 when the Vikings take on the Denver Broncos on the road. Until then, they will rely on their depth to fill in for the pass-rusher, such as Pat Jones and D.J. Wonnum.

The Vikings are currently tied for the ninth-most sacks in the NFL with 18, equaling the totals of the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders. A big boon for them has been the play of Danielle Hunter, who is tied for the league lead with 8.0 sacks through six weeks. He also stands alone at the top of the league in tackles for loss with 11.

Next on the docket for Minnesota is the San Francisco 49ers, who they will host on Monday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 PM Central at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.