Vikings DE Danielle Hunter's status in doubt for Week 1 vs. Packers

The Minnesota Vikings recently added a Pro Bowl pass rusher in Yannick Ngakoue. They could be without another QB-disruptor for Week 1.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Danielle Hunter’s status for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is very much in doubt due to an injury, per sources informed of the situation.

Hunter did not practice on Wednesday, according to the pool reporter.

The back-to-back Pro Bowl pass rusher missed most of training camp due to an undisclosed injury. Coach Mike Zimmer has been mum on the extent of Hunter’s injury, saying Monday “we’ll just have to see” if the defensive end plays. Zimmer has consistently downplayed the injury as a minor tweak.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks could have indicated players are expecting to take on a division rival without the star pass rusher.

“It’s going to be hard to replace a guy like that but we have guys who are hungry and want to step up too,” Kendricks said Wednesday, via Matt Coller of 1500 ESPN.

Perhaps Kendrick was speaking in hypotheticals, but given the amount of time Hunter has missed, it’d be understandable if his teammates were forced to think of him playing as a bonus at this point.

The 25-year-old is coming off back-to-back 14.5-sack seasons and had one QB takedown in each game against the Packers last year. With Green Bay still trying to sort out their right tackle situation, Hunter missing the season-opener would be welcome news for Aaron Rodgers.

Hunter’s injury underscores the importance of Minnesota acquiring Ngakoue before the season starts.

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