Vikings’ Eric Kendricks Among 3 Pro Bowlers Questionable for Week 2

Eric Kendricks

Getty Eric Kendricks is among three Pro Bowlers on the Vikings defense that are questionable ahead of a Week 2 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

It’s only Week 2, but the Minnesota Vikings‘ matchup in the desert with the Arizona Cardinals feels like a must-win.

After dropping an overtime loss in Cincinnati to open the season, the Vikings could find history against them if they lose this Sunday. Fifty of 59 Super Bowl-era teams that lost their first two games of the season, both on the road, have not made the playoffs.

To make matters worse, the Vikings may be shorthanded in Arizona after three Pro Bowl defenders landed on the Thursday injury report.

Everson Griffen (concussion), Anthony Barr (knee) and Eric Kendricks (quad), who had shown no signs of injury throughout the week, did not practice on Thursday, September 16.

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Kendricks’ Enigmatic Injury

Kendricks, who was healthy in Wednesday’s injury report, was listed with a quad injury on Thursday. He did not address the injury during his weekly media availability.

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin speculated that Kendricks’ quad injury is one he’s been playing through this season.

“I’m told the Kendricks situation si one the Vikings are monitoring closely (sounds like they’ll plant o do an MRI at some point),” Cronin reported via Twitter.

Kendricks led the NFL with 15 tackles in Week 1 and is the Vikings’ best chance at containing Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

If Kendricks and Barr are both out on Sunday, the Vikings would be down to Nick Vigil and second-year linebackers Blake Lynch (undrafted) and Troy Dye (fourth-round).

Vigil was limited in practice with an ankle injury he likely sustained against the Bengals.

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Zimmer Impressed With Vigil, Compares LB to Chad Greenway

On Sunday, Vigil tallied 10 combined tackles, two for a loss, and a sack against his former team last week and wore the green sticker for the defense as the unit’s play-caller — a remarkable feat considering he’s been in Minnesota for only three months.

“We ran this defense in Cincinnati my first couple years, so I was pretty familiar but just a little rusty,” Vigil said, via Vikings.com. “It took a little time to get it down again, but as time goes on, the more reps you get and the more comfortable you get in the system, so I feel pretty comfortable now.”

Zimmer said Vigil has “done a really nice job” and has handled changes that have been made since Vigil began playing in the system. The team hired former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in the offseason as a senior defensive assistant.

“When Paul took over after me there was the same terminology and things like that, so very similar in that way. Typically when you move from team to team — obviously they’ve changed in eight years — there’s some things that still maintain the same terminology,” Zimmer said. “Usually when you move from team to team, the terminology’s the biggest hurdle. The concepts are typically the same. It’s just how you call it or say it or define it.”

Zimmer said he told someone the other day that Vigil reminds him of Chad Greenway, who played for the Vikings for a decade, including three seasons with Zimmer from 2014-2016.

“[Vigil is] very smart and conscientious about everything that he does,” Zimmer said. “He’s caught on fast and played well in the preseason. We all have to make sure that we tackle good and be good communicators. They give you a lot of formations and movements and things like that.”

Vigil hasn’t connected with Greenway yet but was honored by the comparison.

“He played in this league for a long time, and he was a very good player, so that’s a heck of a compliment, and hopefully I can play well and live up to that,” Vigil said.


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