Danielle Hunter emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL during back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2018-2019, but disappeared from the radar over the last two seasons due to injuries.
Hunter missed all of the 2020 campaign because of a neck injury and then missed the final 10 games of 2021 with a torn pectoral.
The 28-year-old proclaimed himself as healthy and good to go on Tuesday when speaking to the media at the Minnesota Vikings' OTA offseason workouts.
"I'm feeling pretty good, last year's injury wasn't as significant as the year before, but it was a few months recovery," Hunter said. "I feel pretty good overall though, it's good to be back with the guys."
Hunter said he was back at normal strength a couple months ago.
"I'd say about February, March," Hunter said. "I was pretty healthy by then, just got to keep gaining on my strength, so that was about it."
The Vikings are coming off a disappointing 8-9 season and Hunter will play a key role in turning things around under first-year head coach Kevin O'Connell. All eyes will be on him returning to the form that saw him rack up 14.5 sacks in each of those aforementioned Pro Bowl seasons. However, most prevalent is Hunter staying healthy. In his rookie year of 2015, he played 14 games and thereafter played in all 16 games for four straight seasons. Alas, over the past two seasons, he's played in only seven of a possible 33.
- The Arizona Cardinals announced they have claimed linebacker Jessie Lemonier off waivers from the Lions, and have released defensive lineman LaRon Stokes. The team also announced the signing of second-round selection Trey McBride, a tight end out of Colorado State. McBride was the first tight end selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Seventh-round picks Christian Matthew, a cornerback, and offensive lineman Marquis Hayes also signed their rookie deals.
- The Chicago Bears announced on Tuesday that they had signed tackle Shon Coleman and waived punter Ryan Winslow. The Bears also announced that third-round pick wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. signed his rookie contract.
- The Cleveland Browns announced they have claimed safety Luther Kirk (from Falcons) and cornerback Reggie Robinson II (from Texans) via waivers.
- The Dallas Cowboys signed second-round draft pick Sam Williams, a defensive end out of Mississippi, and third-round pick Jalen Tolbert, a wide receiver out of South Alabama.
- The Houston Texans claimed defensive back Kendall Sheffield and receiver Connor Wedington off waivers, waived defensive back Reggie Robinson and waived/injured defensive back Kolby Harvell-Peel.
- The Los Angeles Chargers announced they have claimed offensive tackle Zack Bailey off waivers.
- The Philadelphia Eagles announced Tuesday they had claimed wide receiver Josh Hammond off of waivers.
- The San Francisco 49ers announced on Tuesday that they had signed tight end Troy Fumagalli to a one-year deal. In order to make room on the roster, the 49ers waived tight end Garrett Walston.
- The Tennessee Titans announced Tuesday that they had agreed to terms on a contract with 2022 first-round pick wide receiver Treylon Burks. Burks was selected No. 18 overall out of Arkansas.
- Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday that wide receiver Lynn Bowden is "battling some hamstring stuff."
- Defensive lineman Jack Crawford announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday. Crawford retired with 17.5 career sacks after playing with the Atlanta Falcons (three years), Dallas Cowboys (three years), Raiders (two years) and Tennessee Titans (one year). He last played with the Titans in 2020, starting in nine games.
Front office news
- Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt for the Bills' vacant assistant general manager job formerly held by new Giants GM Joe Schoen, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Tuesday that they had completed a second round interview with Steelers' Vice President of Football and Business Administration Omar Khan for their open General Manager position.