Star Vikings DE Hunter, still on IR, seeks 2nd opinion

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter does not appear close to returning to the team,.

Coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that the two-time Pro Bowl pick was in New York for a second medical opinion on his reported neck injury.

Zimmer has declined all season to divulge any details about Hunter’s condition, initially describing it only as a “tweak.” After confirming Friday the reason for the star pass rusher’s absence, Zimmer said only that he hadn’t spoken with Hunter about the doctor visit.

Hunter, who last season at age 25 became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 50 career sacks, was hurt before on-field training camp practices were open to reporters starting Aug. 14. He was placed on injured reserve Sept. 9, but after serving the minimum three-game stay, Hunter will not be back this week. With the Vikings already 0-3 and the virus outbreak keeping stadiums across the league mostly empty, there’s reason to wonder if it’ll be worth him playing in 2020. Hunter is in the second year of a five-year, $72 million contract.

The Vikings will miss cornerback Mike Hughes (neck) for a second straight game Sunday when they play at Houston. Cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) was listed as doubtful on the injury report. The lone piece of promising injury news for the Vikings was the return this week to practice of rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler (rib), who did not have an injury designation Friday and will likely play against the Texans.

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