Marcus Davenport Injury Opens Door for Top Vikings Incredible Rookie

Marcus Davenport’s injury opens up an opportunity for the Vikings’ top rookie

Minnesota Vikings edge rusher Marcus Davenport suffered another injury on Sunday, although there’s a good chance of what appears to be an extended absence.

The Vikings spent a relatively large amount of money to get undrafted rookie free agent (UDFA) quarterback Andre Carter II out of Army this offseason. The team signed a three-year contract worth $2.7 million with $340,000 fully guaranteed at signing. That kind of UDFA guaranteed money is almost unheard of in the NFL, which shows how much Minnesota trusts the 23-year-old college star.

Carter recorded 17 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks against Army in 13 games in 2021, finishing his career there with a total of 19 sacks. He played just 37 total snaps in two appearances for the Vikings over five weeks in 2023: 17 on defense and 20 on special teams. (Statistics provided are accurate as of the start of the Week 6 game between Minnesota and the Chicago Bears).

However, with Davenport likely out for a few games, the Vikings have a chance to let Carter off the ropes and see what he can do at the pro level. But Minnesota will first have to bench Patrick Jones II to clear the way for Carter.

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon suggested benching Jones for the Vikings on Saturday, October 14, the day before Davenport’s most recent injury. However, Kenyon cited all the health issues that Davenport has faced since Minnesota signed him to a one-year, $13 million contract in March.

“Marcus Davenport actually missed three games, and those absences show a serious lack of depth,” Kenyon wrote. “Patrick Jones II recorded 51% of the snaps, but had six tackles and no sacks. It’s worth seeing what rookie Andre Carter II, who had 17 catches but 24.5 [blocking tackles] in his final two years of college, can do.

Jones added three more tackles to his season total Sunday in Chicago, though he didn’t make any impact plays, such as a quarterback hit, a a drop ball or a tackle for loss.

Minnesota salvaged its season with a dismal 19-13 win over the Bears on Sunday, but with virtually no help from Davenport. The defensive lineman converted to outside left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and was unable to get to the locker room under his own power after team doctors carried him off the field.

Marcus Davenport’s injury to his remaining ankle affected his ability to play in the first few weeks.

“Marcus Davenport’s injury is the opposite ankle injury that has impacted his availability in the first few weeks,” The Athletic’s Alec Lewis reported via X. “[He] walked out left the Vikings locker room with the boot on his foot left behind. match.”

Davenport was pretty good when he was able to play, totaling 6 pressures, 4 QB hits and 2 sacks in 5 games, 2 of which he completely missed. He did not record defensive statistics against the Bears before leaving the contest with injury. Considering Jones hasn’t been able to play on about half of the Vikings’ defensive snaps this season, it’s time for Minnesota to give Carter a chance.

Max Dible covers the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors for Heavy.com. He covered local and national news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group’s Big Island radio group before joining Heavy.

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