Vikings Fire Donatell Following Shock Playoff Exit

Minnesota Vikings helmet
Minnesota Vikings helmet. Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (13661304b)

The Minnesota Vikings fired Ed Donatell from his position of defensive coordinator on Thursday after the NFC North champions suffered a premature playoff elimination in a 31-24 wildcard game loss at the hands of the New York Giants. this defeat comes after the Vikings won 13 games this season.

“We will immediately begin our search to fill this critical role as we continue to build a championship standard for the Minnesota Vikings,” first-year coach Kevin O’Connell announced after the team confirmed Donatell’s dismissal.

Despite having won the second-most regular season games in franchise history, the Vikings’ defense proved notably vulnerable this season, ending the season ranked 28th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed. The Giants scored 31 points and gained 431 yards against the Vikings on Sunday.

Skepticism surrounding Donatell’s abilities and doubt over his future was cast in Week 14 when O’Connell admitted that he was considering several options to improve the Vikings’ defense. When asked at the time if staff changes were an option, O’Connell confirmed that it was not on the table at that time.