For Minnesota Vikings fans itching to see Michael Pierce in action, the wait continues. Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Pierce has injured his calf during a summer workout.
Whether Pierce will be available for the beginning of Minnesota’s training camp is unclear. However, Rapoport says the defensive tackle should still be good to go for the start of the 2021 regular season. Backup Armon Watts will take reps at nose tackle while Pierce rehabs.
#Vikings DT Michael Pierce suffered a calf injury while training and his availability for the start of camp is in doubt, source said. While he could end up missing time to begin camp, it’s not expected to keep him off the field to begin the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2021
Pierce, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Vikings in March 2020, has yet to suit up in purple. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.
As soon as his calf heals, Pierce will be a welcome addition to a Minnesota defense that finished 29th in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed last year. Reinforcements have arrived following an uncharacteristically weak defensive season for head coach Mike Zimmer. Pierce, a fifth-year veteran out of Samford, is joined by new Vikings Patrick Peterson, Sheldon Richardson and Bashaud Breeland.
While short (6’0”) for a defensive tackle, Pierce’s motor and explosiveness for his weight (345 pounds) should bolster Minnesota’s front line. His first opportunity to make an impact comes September 12th in Cincinnati.