Vikings Defense Will Be Very Short-Handed in Detroit

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr singles number one after the Vikings stop the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

After the loss of Dalvin Cook last week in San Francisco, the Minnesota Vikings were already expected to be a weakened group going into Week 13. However, the bad injury luck hasn’t stopped there. The Vikings defense is going to head into this game extremely banged up. For example, earlier this week both Patrick Peterson and Eric Kendricks were anonounced as out for this game. Peterson is on the COVID list, while Kendricks is dealing with a bicep injury.

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This news has overlooked the positive: a return to the field for Michael Pierce. His presence will undoubtedly boost the defensive line. However, more bad news has emerged for the Vikings defense. After being listed as questionable throughout the week, Anthony Barr is officially out for today’s contest against the Lions. Barr and Kendricks have been key to the Vikings defense not only this season, but throughout their entire careers. Between Barr, Kendricks, and Peterson, the Vikings defense will be missing 13 Pro Bowl appearances just on defense.

I have to admit; I may have been a bit of bad luck for the Vikings defense. Yesterday in my Lions fantasy football preview, I said Kendricks would play a key role in shutting down tight end T.J. Hockenson. Then maybe an hour later, the Vikings announced he would be out.

That said, this is still a key game for Minnesota as their playoff hopes are in the balance. A win would bring them to an even 6-6, moving them ahead of the New Orleans Saints and keeping pace with the Washington Football Team for that coveted seventh seed. For more predictions regarding the upcoming game, check out our staff predictions over on VikingsTerritory.