Mike Zimmer declines to talk about Danielle Hunter’s injury

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For weeks, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called defensive end Danielle Hunter‘s unspecific injury a “small tweak.” Before the Vikings ever had to specify the body part that is tweaked via the initial injury report of the season, the Vikings placed Hunter on injured reserve.

Now, Zimmer doesn’t want to talk about Hunter’s situation at all.

I’m not going to talk about injuries,” Zimmer told reporters on Friday when asked about his past claim that Hunter had a “small tweak.”

Zimmer was then and remains now within his rights to say nothing. However, the broader circumstances and the lack of information justify speculation as to whether Hunter truly has a debilitating injury or whether it really is a “small tweak” through which he’s unwilling to play until his $14.4 million becomes better in line with the $27 million per year that the Chargers are now paying to defensive end Joey Bosa.

With no one saying anything, it’s fair to wonder whether Hunter isn’t happy with his contract, and in turn whether he’s declining to play until he gets a new deal. It’s also fair to wonder whether the Vikings took the stare down to the next level by putting Hunter on IR, wiping out $31,250 per week in per-game roster bonuses and making it harder for him to hit a $500,000 escalator based on 13 sacks and another $500,000 escalator based on two more sacks.

The 2020 COVID-19 roster flexibility rules allow for an unlimited number of players to be placed on injured reserve, with eligibility to return in only three weeks. It will be very interesting to see whether Hunter comes back when he’s eligible to do so.

10 responses to “Mike Zimmer declines to talk about Danielle Hunter’s injury

  1. Zimmer is infamous for not talking about injuries. It’s been rumored elsewhere that it’s a neck-related injury, but beyond that not so much. If it was a contract dispute he wouldn’t be rehabbing on the side during practice. Vikings GM Rick Spielman said he’s optimistic Hunter will be out only the 3-week minimum.

  2. For those who pay any attention to the Vikings, at least two things should be clear: (1) Zim is KGB-like on disclosing injury info; and (2) Hunter is not the kind of player or person to hold out of games or practice due to contract matters. Well, there are actually 3 truths, the Packers aren’t on the team’s Christmas card list.

  3. I sincerely doubt that Hunter was placed on IR because he isn’t happy with his contract. The reality is probably that he has a neck injury that is going to take a while to heal, possibly the whole season. Nothing good is going to come out of this situation.

  4. Didn’t the Vikings tear up his rookie contract and reward him before they had too? Hard to believe he would hold out now…. he does deserve to be paid top 10 money for DEs

  5. I don’t understand how teams can place as many players as they want on IR but not be required to provide any information on their supposed injuries.

  6. How come just because player A makes more than player B, player B is deemed to be unhappy with their contract? He signed a 5 year contract in 2018. I can’t blame Zimmer, talking about a players injuries doesn’t expedite the healing process. Get well Danielle.

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