Coming into the season, linebacker was Minnesota’s deepest position. After the opening four weeks, the depth has taken a huge hit. The Vikings have provided an injury update for Eric Kendricks. For the second straight day, Kendricks wasn’t able to participate in practice.
The Vikings Linebackers
It’s hard to believe how unlucky the Vikings have been at linebacker. They’ve already lost Cameron Smith and Anthony Barr for the season. Troy Dye is on the IR, and Ben Gedeon hasn’t been unable to play. If Kendricks can’t go on Sunday, then Eric Wilson — a 2017 UDFA — will be forced to lead the linebackers.
The Seahawks, in fairness, are missing one of their key starters in Jamal Adams. Even still, losing Kendricks is a massive blow for the Vikings. He is a great tackler, and his abilities in both run defense and coverage certainly help to hold the defense together. It’s entirely possible that fans will get a different injury update just before the game, one that indicates that Eric Kendricks is capable of playing.
If Kendricks can play, he will have his hands full. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-level season so far. After Patrick Mahomes, Wilson has to be the best quarterback in the league. Kendricks, if his health allows, will likely be used in a variety of ways to help contain Wilson. On some downs, Zimmer will likely ask him to be a spy. Kendricks will also be tasked with both man and zone coverage responsibilities, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him on a few blitzes.
The Vikings will truly need a full-team effort to take down the Seahawks. They’re a tremendous team, one who has gotten the best of the Vikings on a consistent basis during the Zimmer era. The Vikings will be in a tough spot without a healthy Kendricks, so hopefully these days off are merely precautionary.