Danielle Hunter emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL during back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2018-2019, but disappeared from the radar over the last two seasons due to injuries.
Hunter missed all of the 2020 campaign because of a neck injury and then missed the final 10 games of 2021 with a torn pectoral.
The 28-year-old proclaimed himself as healthy and good to go on Tuesday when speaking to the media at the Minnesota Vikings‘ OTA offseason workouts.
“I’m feeling pretty good, last year’s injury wasn’t as significant as the year before, but it was a few months recovery,” Hunter said. “I feel pretty good overall though, it’s good to be back with the guys.”
Hunter said he was back at normal strength a couple months ago.
“I’d say about February, March,” Hunter said. “I was pretty healthy by then, just got to keep gaining on my strength, so that was about it.”
The Vikings are coming off a disappointing 8-9 season and Hunter will play a key role in turning things around under first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell. All eyes will be on him returning to the form that saw him rack up 14.5 sacks in each of those aforementioned Pro Bowl seasons. However, most prevalent is Hunter staying healthy. In his rookie year of 2015, he played 14 games and thereafter played in all 16 games for four straight seasons. Alas, over the past two seasons, he’s played in only seven of a possible 33.