Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr just became the most decorated Vikings player to be added to the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list.
Barr, the team’s only returning captain on defense, is a four-time Pro Bowler and was placed on the list. He’s the eighth member of the Vikings to be placed on the list since Monday and among 15 players across the league added to the list on Thursday.
The COVID-19 reserve list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or have been quarantined after they were in close contact with an infected party, per a statement the Vikings issued. Vikings Infection Control Officer and lead trainer Eric Sugarman tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend after 40 or more players had visited the team’s practice facilities this past week in Eagan, Minn.
Barr is the third projected starter to be placed on the list, following the announcement that defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo was added on Wednesday and rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson‘s placement on the list on Monday. Defensive tackle Michael Pierce also opted out as the Vikings have four starters affected by the virus this season.
Beyond Barr, Odenigbo and Jefferson, offensive lineman Oli Udoh is the only other returning player on the list, followed by rookies Cameron Smith, Brian Cole II, Blake Brandel and Tyler Higby.
Rookies reported to training camp on Thursday for their first round of COVID-19 testing while veterans reports on Tuesday.
The Vikings cannot disclose the details of whether a player is infected or not, per an NFL and NFLPA agreement, but a team official said that all four rookies who were placed on the list on Monday had not been in contact with Sugarman, Pioneer Press beat reporter Chris Tomasson said.
Vikings players must pass two tests before being let into the training facility. Barr was scheduled to take his second test on Wednesday, per the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer. Sugarman will continue to fulfill as many of his responsibilities virtually and the Vikings staff will assist anywhere necessary.
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Barr’s Potential to Return
According to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, if a player tests positive, they could miss a minimum of five days (asymptomatic, two negative results) or 10 days with symptoms. Players on the list could return to the Vikings training facilities in 24 hours if they were only placed on the list for contact tracing.
The first scheduled full-padded practice is Aug. 17, which likely puts Barr in the correct circumstances to return by then so long as he doesn’t have harsh symptoms of the virus.
Vikings veterans will be allowed into the facility this weekend barring they receive a second negative test result.
Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.