Marcus Davenport’s Return Delayed by Lack of Motivation

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings defense has performed much better than expected, when defensive coordinator Brian Flores took the job last offseason.

And they’ve done it almost entirely without one of their top-5 defensive players, EDGE Marcus Davenport, who’s missed most of the season due to injury, the most recent occurence being a left high ankle sprain that landed him on IR.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Playoff Odds – Week 16

Does Marcus Davenport want to play for Minnesota Vikings again this season?

As recently as last week, it was believed that Davenport would be returning to the Vikings’ lineup sometime before the 2023 season came to an end. But it’s now week 16 and his 21-day practice window still hasn’t been opened. Why?

Well, according to Darren ‘Doogie’ Wolfson on SKOR North’s Mackey & Judd, Marcus has to want to get back on the field… “There are some desire questions, there. Ultimately, it’s the player. The player really has to want it.”

It’s funny, yesterday afternoon I wrote a blog about Jordan Hicks, who’s convinced he is ready to return from his compartment syndrome injury in record time. With Hicks’ return, the Vikings coaching staff is trying to flash a yellow light at his high-speed recovery process, given how desperate he is to get back on the field.

Obviously, Marcus Davenport’s desire to return sits on the complete other side of the desperation spectrum, proving yet again how many different personalities live inside a sports locker room.

More questions surround Davenport’s desire than his health

Wolfson’s report, which is clearly coming out of TCO Performance Center, says that Marcus Davenport is out of his walking boot and has been for two weeks or more.

Related: Vikings to Replace U.S. Bank Stadium Turf; Want $62M from Taxpayers for Security Upgrades

If we read between the lines, like Doogie invites us to do, it’s pretty clear that questions from inside the building aren’t as much about Marcus’ health anymore. They’re about his desire to return.

“It’s a weird situation. He’s definitely out of the walking boot. He’s been out of the walking boot for the better part of 10-14 days, if not longer. But, I’m just telling you, the player, he has to want it. So, if you want to read between the lines then do whatever you want. But there are some questions about [Marcus Davenport’s] ‘want’.”

Darren Wolfson – Macker & Judd – SKOR North

It’s still possible Davenport finds the motivation to return before the season timer runs out. A lot of his 2023 contract is based on incentives to be on the field. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be enough to motivate the 27-year-old Texas-San Antonio alum to attack his rehab. But don’t expect him to return in 2024, either way.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: