The Minnesota Vikings defense took another hit as they have downgraded linebacker Eric Kendricks to out for Sunday's matchup with the Detroit Lions.
Kendricks was dealing with a biceps injury that was suffered in last week's loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 29-year-old was in the middle of an All-Pro caliber campaign, leading the Vikings with 109 total tackles on the season and grading third among qualifying linebackers in Pro Football Focus's coverage grades.
Kendricks' absence will be felt the most in stopping the run. The Vikings allowed 208 yards on the ground against the 49ers last week and with Anthony Barr questionable with a hamstring injury, Minnesota could be down its two top linebackers on Sunday.
That's just a small sample of the injury issues the Vikings are dealing with at the moment. Patrick Peterson will not play Sunday after testing positive for COVID earlier in the week and with starting defensive ends Danielle Hunter (pectoral) and Everson Griffen (non-football illness/reserve list) out, Mike Zimmer's defense will be severely shorthanded against the Lions.
Although kick returner Kene Nwangwu was added to the injury report with a non-COVID illness, the Vikings received some good news when they activated Michael Pierce off injured reserve.
Pierce has been out since Week 4 with an elbow injury and with Dalvin Tomlinson also off the COVID-19/reserve list, Minnesota should have its starting defensive tackles back in the lineup.
But they'll need more than just some size in the middle to prevent the Lions from pulling off an upset on Sunday.