Vikings Lose Another Defender to Injury

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The Minnesota Vikings have dealt with their fair share of injuries during the 2023 season and then some.

The injuries continued piling up in Week 11’s loss to the Denver Broncos, though, and Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell announced on Monday afternoon that defensive lineman Dean Lowry suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the game and will be placed on IR.

Vikings Lose Another Defender to Injury

Vikings Lose
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Dean Lowry (94) and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (97) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

O’Connell stated during his press conference, “We did confirm via MRI that Dean Lowry did sustain a pec tear. He’ll have to have that surgically repaired, and he will go on IR in the short term here.”

Lowry has had some struggles during his first season with the Vikings, but he has played in nine games this season on the defensive line, including four starts. Throughout the year, he has recorded 14 tackles, a pass defense, and has recovered a fumble.

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (1) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) and defensive end Dean Lowry (94) and linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (40) as guard Luke Goedeke (67) attempts to block during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive lineman came to the Vikings this offseason after spending his first seven NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers. While in Green Bay, Lowry played 111 games, including 80 starts, and recorded 252 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, 16 passes defended, and an interception.

Now, as Lowry heads to IR, the Vikings will need to find more production from their depth at yet another position. Jaquelin Roy and Khyiris Tonga have seen more snaps with the defense over the past few weeks, and those numbers will likely rise even further with this latest injury.

With the injury, the Vikings also have an extra roster spot now, and O’Connell had an immediate answer for that spot as well. Chris Reed, who was placed on the NFI list during training camp and began the year on IR, will officially be activated to give Minnesota some extra depth on their offensive line.

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Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Chris Reed (62) performs a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Reed started the final game of the 2022 regular season at center after both Garrett Bradbury and Austin Schlottmann went down with injuries. He has experience across the interior of the offensive line, so his presence on the roster will provide an extra body who can fill in at either guard spot or center if needed.

Minnesota heads back home for Week 12 and have an extra day of rest before a Monday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 PM Central on Monday, November 27th.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.