The Baltimore Ravens saw a few of their key contributors leave during the 2020 offseason, including defensive tackle Michael Pierce. The former undrafted rookie made a name for himself in Baltimore, but chose to sign a three year, $27 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings to bolster their defensive line.
Pierce was expected to do big things in Minnesota, but he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Now, it’s been reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that the defensive tackle suffered a calf injury while training and getting ready for the 2021 season.
#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
Rapoport notes that the injury isn’t expected to hinder Pierce’s availability for Week 1, but it could mean that the Vikings will have to wait a bit longer to see a big signing from their 2020 free agent class in action. A reunion with Pierce is in order for the Ravens this season, as they’re set to face Minnesota in Week 9.
With Brandon Williams in the fold, Pierce wasn’t a natural fit in Baltimore’s defense. The team tried to play both big men on the field at the same time, but it left them weak in some areas of their defensive line play. Pierce should play a big role in the Vikings’ success once he’s back on the field, but for now he’ll be focused on recovering and getting healthy as the regular season quickly approaches.
In four seasons with the Ravens, Pierce accumulated 151 total tackles and 3.5 sacks while also being a plus-defender against the run.