Danielle Hunter is back from another injury feeling ‘fine’

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Dashed edges Daniel Hunter and Zadarius Smith would give the Vikings one of the best fast-passing duos in the NFL if they stayed healthy. if. . . .

Smith played only one regular season game and a postseason game for the Lakers last season due to a back injury.

Hunter has played only seven games in the past two seasons, missed the whole of 2020 with a neck injury and missed his last 10 games last season with a pectoralis muscle injury.

Hunter spoke to the media on Tuesday, his first interview since September 29.

“I feel so good,” Hunter said, via Chris Thomason. Pioneer Press. “Last year’s injury wasn’t as big as the year before, but she recovered for three months. Had we made it to the playoffs, I might be able to come back.

“It feels good to be back with the players. . . . It hurts just watching people play.”

It was around “February or March” when Hunter was back to his regular exercise routine.

“The most important thing is having the right people around me, just motivating me and keeping me in the right mindset,” Hunter said of his recovery.

Hunter had 14.5 sacks in both 2018 and 2019 before his injury. That production is definitely what drove the Vikings to claim an existing bonus of $18 million on Hunter’s contract, which they turned into a signing bonus to lower their cap figure for the season.

“I wasn’t really worried about (the bonus),” Hunter said. “The most important thing for me was to get past the rehab period and get back to playing football.”

Hunter’s contract runs until 2023, so, after the last two seasons, he faces a big season in 2022. If he can stay healthy, Hunter has a chance to do exactly that in new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell’s 3-4 chart.

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