Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter did not practice Wednesday and could miss the season opener Sunday against the Green Bay Packers with an undisclosed injury.
Hunter hasn’t practiced since August 14 and NFL Network reported Wednesday his availability is in doubt.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks said Wednesday the Vikings are counting on other players to step up without Hunter, who missed most of training camp with an unspecified injury.
“It’s going to be hard to replace a guy like that but we have guys who are hungry and want to step up too,” Kendricks said.
The Vikings have a candidate in newly acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Minnesota added Ngakoue via trade last month but the former Jacksonville Jaguars’ standout was viewed as a bookend to Hunter, not a replacement.
Hunter, 25, had 14.5 sacks each of the past two seasons.
The Packers have injury issues at right tackle, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has already seen plenty of Hunter in his career. Hunter had quarterback sacks in each of the meetings with Green Bay in 2019. He had a strip-sack of Rodgers in 2018.
Ifeadi Odenigbo would likely start at left defensive end in Hunter’s absence.