Minnesota Vikings Legend Doug Sutherland Dead At 73

By Jason Hall

April 5, 2022

Minnesota Vikings vs St. Louis Cardinals, 1974 NFC Divisional Playoffs
Photo: Getty Images

Doug Sutherland, a former NFL defensive tackle best known for his 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a member of the legendary "Purple People Eaters" defense, has died at the age of 73.

Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf and his brother, Owner/President Mark Wilf, issued a joint statement in tribute to Sutherland on Tuesday (April 5) shared on Vikings.com:

"Doug Sutherland was one of our proudest Legends. His humble nature did not allow for him to talk much about his own playing career, but Doug was a key member of some of the best defenses in NFL history and three Super Bowl teams. Doug was also the consummate teammate after football. He was one of the most active members of Vikings Legends events and didn't miss a chance to help out at a community event or lend a hand where needed. Our thoughts are with Doug's friends and family."

Sutherland was selected by the New Orleans Saints at No. 348 overall in the 14th round of the 1970 NFL and spent one season with the franchise before being traded to the Vikings in 1971.

The Wisconsin native made 90 starts in 138 total appearances for Minnesota, which is the fourth-most in franchise history for the defensive tackle position behind John Randle, Kevin Williams and Alan Page

Sutherland was also named to the 50 Greatest Vikings list celebrating the team's 50-year anniversary in 2010.

Sutherland was a member of three of the Vikings' four Super Bowl teams, which included making starts in Super Bowls IX and XI, as well as appearing in Super Bowl VIII.

Sutherland spent his final NFL season with the Seattle Seahawks in 1981.

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