Football is a game that celebrates teamwork more than statistics, but if there is a statistic that captures the mind of football fans, it’s sacks. And there weren’t many players in Vikings history or NFL history who accumulated more sacks than Chris Doleman.
It is for that reason, among others, that Doleman will become just the 19th individual in franchise history to be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor. Induction into this elite class of Vikings is the highest honor the organization can bestow upon an individual, and Doleman’s dominance along the defensive line makes him a qualified member of this group.
Doleman will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game against Green Bay at Mall of America Field.
Doleman began and concluded his career with the Vikings, but also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. His breakthrough season came in 1987 when he tallied 11.0 sacks and six forced fumbles for the Vikings. Doleman’s best season came two years later in 1989, when he recorded a franchise single-season record 21.0 sacks. During his first stint with the Vikings (1985-1993), Doleman earned six Pro Bowl berths and three First-Team All-Pro honors.
Doleman played for the Falcons from 1994-1995 and then for the 49ers from 1996-1998, accumulating a total of 54.0 sacks in five seasons and also earning a Pro Bowl berth with each franchise. Doleman then finished his career with the Vikings during the 1999 season, registering 8.0 sacks and helping the Vikings advance to the Divisional round of the NFC playoffs. In 10 total seasons with the Vikings, Doleman registered 96.5 sacks, 31 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries, making him one of the best defensive linemen in the history of a franchise with several Hall of Fame linemen.
In total for his career, Doleman accumulated eight Pro Bowl selections, three First-Team All-Pro honors and he was also named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Second-Team.
Doleman’s production and dominating presence over 15 seasons has placed him in an elite fraternity with the Vikings Ring of Honor and it should also result in induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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