Ahead of the first matchup of the season between the two teams on Sunday, here are five players you forgot or didn’t realize played for the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings.
On Sunday, the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will play for the 122nd time. It’s not surprising to know the Vikings have dominated the series, with a 79-40-2 record. The Lions did win the last meeting, however, 29-27 in Week 13 last season. Both 2021 games were decided by two points, with a last-play field goal giving Minnesota a 19-17 win in Week 5.
There are plenty of players who have played for both teams in the NFL’s longest-running rivalries, and Vikings and Lions is no exception. The Lions tend to be a landing spot at the end of careers in a broad sense, regardless of a player leaving a division rival for Detroit.
There are notable and fairly recent names who have played for both the Lions and the Vikings (Adrian Peterson, Nate Burleson, Riley Reiff, Daunte Culpepper). But here are five players you forgot, or maybe didn’t ever know, played for both teams.
5 players you forgot (or never knew) played for the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings
5. LB Wally Hilgenberg
Hilgenberg spent 12 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Vikings (1968-1979). He is one of 11 players to appear in all four Super Bowls for Minnesota, with 158 regular season games played in Purple.
After being a two-way player at the University of Iowa (center/linebacker), Hilgenberg became strictly a linebacker as a pro and spent his first three seasons with the Lions (1964-1966)–starting 10 of 41 games in Detroit. The Lions traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who waived him before he ever suited up for them. He landed with the Vikings, and had a lengthy career from there.