Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr could miss the team's season opener as he continues to battle an undisclosed injury.
Barr has been sidelined since Aug. 5 and has missed both of the Vikings' preseason games thus far. Head coach Mike Zimmer acknowledged that Barr was "a concern with his health" after the Vikings' loss to the Indianapolis Colts last Saturday but declined to specify the injury.
Under the NFL's current rules teams are not required to report injuries until the first week of the regular season but another tea leave fell when co-defensive coordinator Adam Zimmer talked to reporters on Tuesday.
"Today I can't tell you if he's going to be ready Week 1 or not," Zimmer said on Tuesday. "He's doing everything he can rehab-wise to get back in there. Hopefully, we have him Week 1. If not, we'll have somebody step in and play for us."
Barr missed the final 14 games of the 2020 season with a torn pectoral muscle but Zimmer confirmed on Saturday it is not related to his current injury. While Barr is considered a critical part of the defense, he has one sack since signing a five-year, $67.5 million contract in March 2019.
In addition, the Vikings voided the final year of that contract this spring, making him a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
Zimmer mentioned on Saturday that the Vikings were taking Barr's injury with "real kid gloves" which makes sense considering the NFL's new 18-game schedule for this season. But for a defense that ranked 28th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed a season ago, the Vikings will be hopeful he's ready to go in Cincinnati on Sept. 12.