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Vikings fire DC Ed Donatell

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, the team confirmed via a released statement Thursday.

Donatell, 65, joined the Vikings last offseason, making a move from the Denver Broncos, where he had worked in the same role from 2019-21.

He departs the Vikings with over 30 seasons of coaching experience in the NFL, including coordinator stints with the Green Bay Packers (2000-03), Atlanta Falcons (2004-06), Broncos and Vikings.

“Today I informed Ed Donatell we will be going in a different direction at defensive coordinator in 2023,” the team statement attributed to head coach Kevin O’Connell read in part. “While this was a difficult decision because of the tremendous respect I have for Ed as a person and a coach, I believe it is the right move for the future of our football team.

“We will immediately begin our search to fill this critical role as we continue to build a championship standard for the Minnesota Vikings.”

The Vikings, despite a 13-4 record, finished tied for 28th in defense for points allowed and lost at home in the wild-card round of the playoffs, 31-24 to the New York Giants.

Their passing defense and total defense for yards per game were each ranked No. 31 out of 32 teams.

–Field Level Media