The Minnesota Vikings went into the postseason with injuries on the defensive side of the ball and Mike Hughes was definitely missed. Following Minnesota's loss against the San Francisco 49ers, it was discovered that Hughes suffered a broken vertebra that caused him to be sidelined for the playoffs.
During the week leading up to the Vikings' Wild Card matchup with the New Orleans Saints, the team placed Hughes on injured reserve. At the time, the organization labeled it as a neck injury, but they didn't elaborate on the severity of his injury.
Just last season, Hughes tore his ACL in Minnesota's win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. As a result, the Vikings' first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft would miss the rest of his rookie season.
Back in Week 3 of the 2019 season, Hughes would return to the field versus the Oakland Raiders. The second-year defensive back would play in 14 games and start three of them during the regular season.
In nearly his first full season, Hughes totaled 43 tackles, two forced fumbles, nine deflections, and an interception. Unfortunately, the young defensive back would end up on the IR for the second straight season.
Besides Hughes, the Vikings were also without Mackensie Alexander in their two postseason contests. Alexander was also placed on injured reserve following an injury to his meniscus in Week 17.
The Vikings became so thin at cornerback that they considered activating cornerbacks coach Terence Newman to the roster. Of course, Newman spent three seasons with the Vikings before retiring from the NFL in 2017.
As the offseason approaches, Hughes is heading into his third season in the league. Hopefully, after his latest injury, he can make a full recovery and come back even stronger in 2020.