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Danielle Hunter feels great after two “pretty unfortunate” years

Mike Florio and Chris Simms break down the Minnesota Vikings signing Za'Darius Smith and explain why it's a high-risk move for the franchise given Smith's injury history.

Danielle Hunter was the subject of trade talk until restructuring his contract and receiving a vote of confidence from new General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

The Vikings edge rusher missed all of 2020 with a neck injury, and he played only seven games in 2021 before tearing a pectoral muscle.

After returning to work with Rischad Whitfield, “The Footwork King,” on Wednesday in Houston, Hunter said he is fully healthy again.

I feel great,” Hunter said, via KPRC-TV. “The last two years were pretty unfortunate, but I just got to stay positive and have positive people around me. My family’s been there, coaches have been there. So I’m ready to go this season.”

If Hunter is healthy, and new addition Za’Darius Smith is healthy, look out. The Vikings will have one of the top pass rushing duos in the NFL. But it’s a big “IF.” Smith played only one regular-season game and one playoff game last season because of a back injury.

Hunter has played 85 career games and totaled 60.5 sacks, 90 quarterback hits and six forced fumbles. Smith has played 91 career games and totaled 44.5 sacks, 112 quarterback hits and eight forced fumbles.

“I see him every year with the Packers,” Hunter said. “He goes against our quarterback and sometimes I just know what he’s going to bring to the table before he even gets out there. So it will be a good combo between us and all the defensive linemen we have.”