Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has been absent from the playing and practice fields since August 6, and coach Mike Zimmer has played coy with updates on Barr throughout the preseason.
“(Barr’s) got something he’s dealing with,” Zimmer said in an August 17 press conference, 10 days after Barr first went missing at practice.
But another week gone and no further steps taken by Barr, his status has become a cause for concern and is reminiscent of Danielle Hunter’s “small tweak” a year ago.
“(Barr’s) not a concern as a football player,” Zimmer said after the Vikings’ 12-10 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts. “He’s a concern maybe a little bit with his health. So we’re taking that with real kid gloves, but we miss him out there. We can do so many different things with him that allows the rest of the guys — and plus, he does a great job communicating to everybody. We’re just being cautious with him.”
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Barr Injury Rumors
While the Vikings haven’t disclosed any details on Barr’s injury status, SKOR North’s Judd Zulgad offered some possible insight.
Zulgad, through a third-hand source, said he’s been told that Barr has been dealing with a groin injury, per The Viking Age‘s Adam Patrick. Groin injury can either be minor and require three-to-six weeks to recover, but a full groin tear could require up to three months of recovery, per Health News Hub.
Barr missed 14 games last season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 against the Colts. Typically wearing the green sticker and calling out plays to the rest of the defense, Barr has been a crucial member of Minnesota defense since he was drafted in 2014.
The four-time Pro Bowler restructured his contract this offseason, taking a pay cut that would allow him to reach free agency next offseason. He still has time to get back into the lineup before starting a prove-it year, but the 29-year-old will have to improve his status in the next three weeks.
“Barr, he’s missed a lot of time as well, so we’ll just try and sit down this week and figure it out,” Zimmer said on Saturday, August 21.
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Vikings LB Depth a Lone Bright Spot in Colts Loss
For a second straight week, the Vikings offense struggled to muster any momentum in the preseason. In two games, primarily the second-string offense has scored just nine points, zero touchdowns and gained just 435 yards.
Minnesota’s lone touchdown of the preseason came from 2020 fourth-round pick Troy Dye, who took his first career interception to the house against the Colts.
Third-round pick Chazz Surratt, a quarterback-turned linebacker, made several plays on Saturday. He snared a tackle for a loss on third down and also laid the biggest hit of the night on special teams as a gunner. Surratt led the Vikings with nine tackles.
Blake Lynch, undrafted in 2020, started in Barr’s stead with the first-team unit on Saturday. He tallied four tackles and a tackle for loss on 31 defensive snaps.