Vikings Beef Up Their LB Room Ahead of Week 12

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are just a few hours away from taking on the Chicago Bears in the final game of Week 12.

This Monday Night Football divisional matchup is a very important game for the Vikings as they could move up the NFC standings with a victory. Prior to the game, the Vikings have added some extra veteran help for their LB room for the second week in a row, elevating Anthony Barr from the practice squad.

Vikings Elevate Veteran LB Help from

Vikings Beef Up Their LB Room
Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) reacts during the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings announced the decision on Monday afternoon, tweeting, “The #Vikings have elevated LB Anthony Barr to the active roster for tonight’s game. WR Justin Jefferson has been downgraded to out.”

Barr reunited with the Vikings last week and played 12 defensive snaps during Week 11’s game against the Denver Broncos, recording a single tackle. With Jordan Hicks on IR, and Brian Asamoah continuing to work through injuries, the Vikings linebacker room has been relying on Ivan Pace and Troy Dye to provide quality snaps, and the addition of Barr has brought another veteran presence to the room.

The linebacker may not quite be the same player that he once was, but Barr was a staple in Minnesota’s defense for nearly a decade when Minnesota had one of the most fearsome defensive units in the league. The linebacker was selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he immediately started 12 games for the team. During that rookie season, he put together 70 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles.

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Dec 16, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) celebrates with linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In the following years, the linebacker would emerge as one of the best talents in the entire league. He was named to the Pro Bowl in every season from 2015-18. His career was highlighted by a 2017 season in which he recorded 75 tackles and nine TFLs during the regular season. The Vikings were the best in the league in both points allowed and yards allowed, making their way to the NFC Championship Game.

However, injuries have caused Barr’s career to turn towards the downward trajectory in recent years. He missed all but two games in 2020 because of a torn pectoral muscle, and he played just 11 games in 2021. He recorded 72 tackles and just three TFLs during his last year as the Vikings finished the season 8-9 but 6-5 with him in the lineup. In all, the former 9th overall pick recorded 39 TFLs and forced eight fumbles while intercepting five passes over his eight years with the Vikings.

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)

Barr then signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 2022 season. In Dallas, he recorded 58 tackles, a pair of tackles for loss, a sack, and a pass defended over the course of 14 games. 10 of those games were starts for Barr on a Cowboys defense that gave up the sixth-fewest points during the season.

Now, he is back with the Vikings hoping to make an impact on the defense as they try to bounce back following their Week 11 loss to the Broncos. It will be interesting to see how many snaps he can get in tonight’s action against the Bears.

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.