Danielle Hunter feels good after two ‘pretty unhappy’ years

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Danielle Hunter was the subject of trade talks until he restructured his contract and received a vote of confidence from new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

The Vikings rusher missed all of 2020 with a neck injury, and he only played seven games in 2021 before tearing a pectoral muscle.

After returning to work with Rischad Whitfield, “The Footwork King,” on Wednesday in Houston, Hunter said he was fully healthy again.

“I feel good,” Hunter told KPRC-TV. “The last two years have been pretty unhappy, but I just have to stay positive and have positive people around me. My family has been there, the coaches have been there. So I’m ready to play this season.

If Hunter is healthy and newcomer Za’Darius Smith is healthy, watch out. The Vikings will have one of the best quick passing duos in the NFL. But that’s a big “IF”. Smith played in just one regular season game and one playoff game last season due to a back injury.

Hunter played in 85 career games and had 60.5 sacks, 90 quarterback hits and six forced fumbles. Smith played in 91 career games and had 44.5 sacks, 112 quarterback hits and eight forced fumbles.

“I see him every year with the Packers,” Hunter said. “He goes against our quarterback and sometimes I just know what he’s going to bring to the table before he even comes out. So it will be a good combo between us and all the defensive linemen we have.

Helen L. Cuellar