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Hercules Mata’afa tears his ACL, according to reports

Tough break for the former Cougar star.

Arizona State v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Washington State Cougars defensive legend Hercules Mata’afa had just started to settle in at Minnesota Vikings camp when he was dealt a tough blow yesterday: The defensive end suffered a torn ACL during a practice according to reports.

Generally an injury of this magnitude is considered a six-month recovery, making it likely he is probably out for this season. It’s a real bummer because analysts had thought the explosive pass rusher had a chance to make the team. This is another bad break for the lineman who went undrafted after turning pro after his junior year.

This injury came a day after Mata’afa had made a position switch from linebacker to defensive end. There was a lot of chatter during the draft that he may have been a better fit at linebacker at the professional level. There were even some Tedy Bruschi comps thrown out there. The Vikings must had the same thoughts, as they played Herc at weakside linebacker at the start of OTA’s. After a few practices, the team had decided that he belonged back at his natural position.

Here is what Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Andrew Krammer had to say about the position switch.

Rookie Hercules Mata’afa has moved back to the defensive line. The Vikings tried the former Washington State star at linebacker for just a couple practices before moving him back. Mata’afa is working at defensive end and situational defensive tackle. “With the big dogs,” Mata’afa said Tuesday. “Feels like home. It’s way easier for me understanding the concepts. It’s what I’ve done all my life.”

Best of luck to Hercules in his recovery. Get well soon!

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