Vikings Defensive Lineman Set to Return to Practice

DL Jonathan Bullard
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings got some bad news regarding their offensive line early in the week, but their defensive side is slowly getting healthier. On Wednesday, the team announced that Vikings defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard would be designated to return from IR, opening his 21-day practice window. He will also practice during Wednesday’s session.

Bullard, a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, signed with the Vikings in free agency after spending the 2021 season with the Atlanta Falcons. Bullard has appeared in 11 games for the Vikings this year, starting seven of them. He landed on IR following Minnesota’s Week 13 win over the New York Jets due to an elbow injury. Earlier in the season, Bullard also missed Minnesota’s Week 8 game against the Cardinals due to an illness.

So far in the 2022 regular season, Bullard has recorded 23 tackles for the Vikings, including 5 TFLs. The veteran defensive lineman stepped up in a massive way during Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills as well. He put together 3 TFLs during that 33-30 win for the Vikings.

There’s likely a very small chance that Bullard plays in Week 18 for the Vikings, but a return for the playoffs would be very helpful for Minnesota’s defense. Especially considering James Lynch will miss at least Week 18 against the Bears with a shoulder injury. He sat out Week 17 against the Packers after playing each of Minnesota’s first 15 games.

With the Vikings likely set to go up against an increasingly strong Giants defensive front come playoff time, it will be key for Minnesota to be able to match with an equally strong front of their own.

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.