Vikings lose three: Ngakoue traded, surgery for Hunter, IR for Iloka
Three players departed the Vikings roster for the remainder of the season Thursday for varying reasons: defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was traded, defensive end Danielle Hunter will have season-ending surgery and safety George Iloka was placed on injured reserve.
The Vikings traded Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick. The trade comes less than two months after the Vikings acquired the fifth-year pass rusher in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ngakoue is tied for fourth in the NFL with five sacks in six games, including two forced fumbles, but the Vikings entered their bye week with a 1-5 record and thus more incentive to focus on the future than stay competitive in 2020.
"This was an opportunity that I felt would accomplish both the short and long term as we move forward, but these decisions aren’t easy to make," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.
Hunter has not played yet this season due to what Mike Zimmer initially referred to in training camp as a "tweak" in Hunter’s neck. Hunter sought a second opinion on the injury and is now opting for serious season-ending surgery on a herniated disk.
The moves dissolve what the Vikings hoped would be a formidable edge rushing combo before they ever were able to play a game together.
In addition, Iloka will likely miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury during a bye week workout. The Vikings signed Iloka as a free agent earlier this season for his second stint in Minnesota. After not playign at all in the 2019 NFL season, Iloka joined the VIkings to provide much-needed depth at safety and on special teams.
The Vikings continue their bye week through the weekend. They reconvene Monday to begin preparing for their Week 8 matchup with Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Sunday, November 1st.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report