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Report: Danielle Hunter will remain on IR, getting second opinion on neck injury

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Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter warms up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter likely won’t be returning anytime soon.

Hunter, who missed the majority of training camp because of what coach Mike Zimmer termed a “tweak,” is in New York to get a second opinion for what ESPN’s Courtney Cronin is reporting is a cervical spine disc herniation. Hunter was placed on injured reserve before the regular season and was eligible to come off that list for the Vikings’ game Sunday in Houston.

Hunter will remain on IR and it’s not clear when or if he will return this season. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reported late Friday afternoon that it was recommended to Hunter during his visit to New York that he not play again this season.

Hunter, who will turn 26 on Oct. 29,  is coming off back-to-back seasons of 14.5 sacks and has 54.5 sacks in 78 career games over five seasons.

The Vikings (0-3) also will be without cornerback Mike Hughes (neck) for a second consecutive game on Sunday and cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) is doubtful. Hughes suffered what was reported as a broken vertebra in his neck late last season and missed both of the Vikings’ playoff games. Cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who missed the past two games because of a rib injury, is expected to return. He likely will see time as one of the Vikings’ top three corners along with first-round pick Jeff Gladney and Holton HIll.