The Minnesota Vikings declared Michael Pierce out with a non-COVID illness on Sunday, leaving the team even more shorthanded for Sunday night's game with the Green Bay Packers.
Pierce did not practice on Friday due to the illness and was initially listed as questionable. After being downgraded on Saturday, Pierce will have played in just eight of 32 possible games since signing a three-year, $27 million contract prior to last season.
Losing the 340-pounder will be a big blow for the Vikings defense, who are currently ranked third in the NFL by allowing 4.7 yards per carry.
While the defense lost a body in the trenches, the Vikings will gain one on the offensive side. Oli Udoh was activated from the COVID-19/reserve list on Saturday and is expected to start for the Packers.
Although Udoh has started 14 games for the Vikings this season, he currently leads all offensive linemen with 15 penalties this season. Going up against Kenny Clark, who had five pressures in the last meeting with the Packers, Sean Mannion will have a difficult time replacing Kirk Cousins, who is on the COVID-19 reserve list.
The Vikings are 7-8 and likely need a win on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive.