3 Hidden Traps That Could Derail the Vikings' 2020 Season

The Minnesota Vikings returned to the playoffs in 2019, but a confluence of factors could spell disaster in 2020.
The Minnesota Vikings returned to the playoffs in 2019, but a confluence of factors could spell disaster in 2020. | Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

After failing to deliver on Super Bowl expectations in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings rebounded in 2019, leaning heavily on the run game and making a return to the playoffs. However, despite reaching the divisional round after an upset of the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings could see their 2020 season derailed by a few concealed problems.

3. Stefon Diggs is Gone

The Vikings traded star wideout Stefon Diggs to Buffalo in March, leaving a massive void at the wide receiver position.
The Vikings traded star wideout Stefon Diggs to Buffalo in March, leaving a massive void at the wide receiver position. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Vikings traded wideout Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills in March after the embattled star expressed his anger with the organization, and while Minnesota received a great deal of draft capital in the trade, Diggs was the team's most reliable receiving option. He seemed to have a healthy rapport with Kirk Cousins, especially on play-action plays, and was a truly dangerous deep threat. His absence will lead to a significant regression in Cousins's passing stats, despite the addition of rookie Justin Jefferson.

2. Dalvin Cook's Holdout

Dalvin Cook was Minnesota's offensive engine in 2019, and his holdout is a lose-lose scenario for the Vikings.
Dalvin Cook was Minnesota's offensive engine in 2019, and his holdout is a lose-lose scenario for the Vikings. | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Dalvin Cook's health was the key to Minnesota's success in 2019. After missing the majority of his first two seasons due to injury, the star running back brought balance to the offense. His decision to hold out for a new contract forces the cash-strapped Vikings to choose between worsening an already ugly cap situation or allowing their best offensive player to miss significant time.

1. Roster Turnover

Minnesota's decision to franchise tag Anthony Harris led to the departures of many other key players.
Minnesota's decision to franchise tag Anthony Harris led to the departures of many other key players. | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings will enter the 2020 NFL season down seven starters from 2019, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The cornerback group in particular was decimated in free agency, with Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander all signing elsewhere. While some will argue that a strong draft class will improve the unit in the long run, relying too much on rookies in 2020 could lead to defensive regression.