Minnesota is Relatively Healthy Heading Into Week 1

Anthony Barr
Oct 13, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard (24) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost here, folks.

The NFL season officially starts when Tampa Bay and Dallas – two NFC teams with playoff aspirations – play on Thursday Night Football. From there, the next game of note is our Minnesota Vikings playing the Cincinnati Bengals at noon on Sunday. We need to snag this W.

There were definitely some discouraging moments throughout the offseason when it came to health, but the first injury report is mostly encouraging. TE Tyler Conklin, LB Anthony Barr, and LT Christian Darrisaw were all limited participants. S Josh Metellus, RB Alexander Mattison, and WR Dede Westbrook were all full participants.

Our TE depth is looking pretty thin if Conklin can’t go on Sunday. We’ll be left with Chris Herndon, Brandon Dillon, and Ben Ellefson. If that’s the case, expect a lot of 21 (two running backs, one TE) and 11 personnel (one running back, one TE).

The Vikings.com article also highlights the Barr situation: “Much focus has been placed on Barr, who was withheld from open practices since Aug. 6 because of the previously undisclosed injury. The Vikings have seven linebackers on their roster.” I’m of the opinion that there’s no rush. We’ve got 17 games. If we’re going to be successful, we’ll need Barr to be healthy for the majority of those games (and perhaps beyond). Ditto for Darrisaw.

On the Bengals side, it’s looking like our old friend Trae Waynes will be out. iOL Trey Hill and TE Mitchell Wilcox were both full participants.