New Minnesota Vikings Linebacker is Injured; Return for Week 1 in Question

Andrew Van Ginkel, Minnesota Vikings
Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

Over the offseason the Minnesota Vikings needed to figure out how they would handle the departure of Danielle Hunter. The immediate answer was by signing Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel. Unfortunately for them, the latter has yet to hit the field.

Replacing the production lost from one of the greatest sack artists in franchise history, Danielle Hunter, was never going to be easy. Greenard and 1st round draft pick Dallas Turner will help fill the void, but it appears the former Miami Dolphin Andrew Van Ginkel is rehabbing from an injury he suffered in week 18 last season and is not ready to take the practice field for Minnesota Vikings minicamp this week.

Andrew Van Ginkel not ready to go for Minnesota Vikings

Alec Lewis is reporting that Andrew Van Ginkel has not only yet to practice, but he’s dealing with an injury that predates his time in Minnesota.

“Van Ginkel has not yet practiced. He is still rehabbing from a foot injury suffered in the Dolphins’ 2023 regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills. But his time is coming. Maybe it’ll happen in training camp or once the season starts. But it will happen as he is, for all intents and purposes, the one-man embodiment of what Flores seeks in his players.”

Lewis notes that Van Ginkel may not be available by week one, though he also mentions that a return by training camp hasn’t been ruled out. Having Andrew Van Ginkel out for any period of time would be unfortunate.

When the Minnesota Vikings signed Andrew Van Ginkel this offseason, the fit was ideal given that the former Miami Dolphin had already worked with defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Now, according to Alec Lewis (The Athletic), that renewed connection will take a back seat and we aren’t sure when he will return.

Related: Vikings Sign Pair of Familiar Linebackers Andrew Van Ginkel and Former Gopher Blake Cashman

The Minnesota Vikings watched Marcus Davenport collect paychecks while doing little to remain on the field a season ago, and another free agent signing flop would be less than ideal.

It doesn’t appear that Van Ginkel is cut from that same cloth though, and his desire to be out there shouldn’t be questioned. Hopefully, he hits the field ASAP and never looks back from there.

If there’s a silver lining in this scenario, it’s that the Vikings were able to keep their other first round pick and wound up grabbing the top defender in the draft.

Related: Christian Darrisaw Blown Away by How Good Dallas Turner is Already

Now, Dallas Turner will get plenty of reps this summer, and he will likely be working with the first team defense much more often, in Van Ginkel’s absence. Expected to play a pivotal role as a rookie, there’s nothing holding back Flores from focusing in on the development of Turner.

“As it relates to dependability, a Jets player stabbed at Van Ginkel’s face mask with a fist in Week 15 last season, popping him squarely in the nose. Van Ginkel remained in the game, with coach Mike McDaniel saying afterward, “He was just, like, ‘All right, gauze it up and let’s go.’”

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