Vikings Pre-Training Camp Injury Updates: Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, and More

Plus injury updates on Riley Patterson, Dede Westbrook, and Christian Darrisaw, among others.
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Ahead of the Vikings' first training camp practice on Wednesday, here are some injury updates on various players from Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer.

Danielle Hunter is good to go. He'll practice on Wednesday. The Vikings' All-Pro defensive end is back after missing all of last season with a neck injury that required surgery and briefly holding out due to contract dissatisfaction earlier this offseason.

It seems like it'll be a little bit before Michael Pierce is back. The big defensive tackle who opted out in 2020 injured his calf a little over a week ago. The injury is seen as fairly minor, but he'll likely miss the first week or two of camp, if not all three. All Spielman would say is that Pierce has been at the facility working out and they'll see how he progresses. Zimmer was careful to avoid a repeat of last year, when he infamously said Hunter had a "tweak" during camp and it turned into a season-long absence.

"I'm going to answer it this way: Last year we had a player that had a tweak at the time that I knew he had a tweak," Zimmer said. "Now things changed, but I got ridiculed for about a year because it was a tweak, and at the time it was. So we'll just see when he's ready to go."

Christian Darrisaw is going to be eased into things. The Vikings' first-round pick played through a groin injury last year at Virginia Tech and had surgery in January to repair a core muscle. "He feels good," Zimmer said. "We're going to bring him in slow. The last couple days he was out here he moved well. We're going to be very careful with him these first few days."

The newest Viking, Dede Westbrook, is ready to go nine months after ACL surgery. The coaches wanted to see how he looked at his workout on Saturday before signing him, and everything checked out. He'll be out there on Wednesday.

UDFA kicker Riley Patterson is on the Active/PUP list with an undisclosed injury, but "should be ready to go here shortly," according to Spielman. Whether that means he'll be back this week or not is anyone's guess. He better come back soon if he wants to catch up with Greg Joseph in the kicker competition.

As expected, Jaylen Twyman cleared waivers and reverts to the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. He's still recovering from getting shot four times a little over five weeks ago. Twyman will be eligible to start practicing after Week 6 and could play in Week 9, but it might be a situation where he stays on that reserve list all year (that's just me speculating).

Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Cameron Dantzler are coming off injuries. Breeland is "going to start getting out here a little bit now," said Zimmer. There was no comment on Dantzler.

It's not an injury, but Spielman did comment on the Jeff Gladney situation (if you're unfamiliar, Gladney was arrested in April on domestic violence assault charges). "This is an ongoing legal matter and at this time, we cannot have any comment on it," he said. "We will address this matter at the appropriate time, but until this situation is resolved, we cannot have any further comment on that." Gladney is set to face a grand jury in Dallas on Thursday where he will potentially be indicted, and things will go from there. The Vikings and the NFL are waiting for the legal process to play out.

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