It’s standard for NFL teams to name season-long captains for their teams, and the Minnesota Vikings were no different. Before Week 1 of the NFL season, the Vikings named eight players as captains for their 2022 campaign.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins
Runningback Dalvin Cook
Wide reciever Adam Thielen
Right tackle Brian O’Neill
Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks
Cornerback Patrick Peterson
Saftey Harrison Smith
Fullback C.J. Ham
These players are voted on by their peers in the locker room, so it’s a high honor to be named team captain. Unfortunately, O’Neill suffered a partially torn Achilles in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers which ended his season. Since O’Neill would not be playing again in 2022, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell took this opportunity to name another captain.
In his weekly press conference with the media on Monday, O’Connell announced that safety and special teams player Josh Metellus would be the ninth captain for the Vikings for the remainder of this season. O’Connell said he had spoken to O’Neill prior to naming Metellus captain, and O’Neill was “fired up” about it.
“First and foremost, I checked in with Brian to make sure he thought it was a great idea and he was fired up about it and even as he finished saying that he said ‘It should be Josh Metellus.’ That was a nice foreshadowing to the overwhelming number of votes he got. Josh got a lot of votes to be a captain at the beginning of the year.
As I mentioned to you guys, 22 players received votes to be a captain and Josh was right there and then what he has done throughout the season. Just his role on special teams and being one of the premier special teams players in the league, but also when he’s gotten the chance to go out there on defense like he did yesterday, incredibly consistent, smart player and you feel his physicality and his ability to tackle. Made a couple of nice plays on the ball when it was in the air yesterday. Not a surprise to me. He’s been A-plus for me all season from a standpoint of just his role, but also his ability to lead our group has been huge.”
Metellus has a good reputation in the locker room with his peers and was one of the players who received votes to become team captain prior to the start of the season. Metellus put together a strong showing for the Vikings on special teams and defense as the season progressed. He had two blocked punts in back-to-back weeks and a game-winning interception in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions.