Whether or not D.J. Wonnum starts for Vikings on Sunday, he expects to play well

D.J. Wonnum was talking to a reporter in the Vikings’ TCO Center locker room on Thursday when Danielle Hunter put a hand on his teammate’s shoulder.

“Tell the boys you’ve been doing this, man,” Hunter told Wonnum. “Tell ’em you’ve been doing it.”

He didn’t have to. Anyone who has been watching the Vikings the past few seasons knows what D.J. Wonnum can do. The third-year defensive lineman — now officially an outside linebacker in Ed Donatell’s 3-4 defense — already has an impressive highlight reel.

When that was noted Thursday, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound pass rusher from South Carolina said, “Oh, I’m good. I’m me.”

It’s a big reason the Vikings aren’t worried about pushing Za’Darius Smith to play Sunday’s game in London against the New Orleans Saints, an 8:30 a.m. CDT kickoff that will mark Minnesota’s third regular-season game in Great Britain.

“I’m preparing for the worst, or the best, whatever,” Wonnum said. “If (Smith) is able to go, I’ll continue my role. But if he’s not, then I’ll be able to step up this weekend.”

Smith injured his left knee in last Sunday’s 28-24 victory over Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium. He finished that game but has missed both of the team’s practices this week. In the Vikings’ three games this season, Wonnum has been the second-team outside linebacker behind Smith.

For the Vikings (2-1), it’s been a luxury. With Hunter lost for the season to a chest…

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