The Minnesota Vikings’ defense was terrific in Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers, but the loss of linebacker Anthony Barr to a concussion could loom large.
Barr, whose hit on Aaron Rodgers caused a broken collarbone for the Packers’ star QB, suffered a concussion in the first half against the Packers and did not return.
The Vikings have gotten exactly what they hoped from Barr this season after a down 2016. He came into Week 6 ranked sixth among inside linebackers by Pro Football Focus ratings and had been excellent rushing the quarterback and in coverage – an area where he struggled at times last season.
Head coach Mike Zimmer praised Barr’s play following the Vikings’ win over the Chicago Bears.
“I’ve noticed more the last two weeks he’s played with a real fire of trying to get to the ball, rushing, all the different things – physicality, making plays,” Zimmer said. “I think he’s starting to see himself more as a dominant play-making kind of guy. The offenses are really trying to take him out of the game as much as they can now. I see it on tape all the time.”
More information about Barr’s injury will be known next week. In his absence, the Vikings used Emmanuel Lamur and kept rookie Ben Gedeon in 4-3 packages. Lamur hasn’t seen much action since joining the Vikings as he picked up just 13 tackles last season in limited duty.