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Zimmer Believes Anthony Barr Will Make Season Debut on Sunday

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings defense could be getting a boost in Week 4.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that he has high hopes for Anthony Barr to make his season debut against the Lions.

"I think he'll play this week," Zimmer said of the Vikings linebacker.

Barr has not played yet in 2021 due to a knee injury. He was listed as questionable for Week 4 but was inactive.

Barr has missed 18 consecutive regular-season games due to injuries, a stretch that began in Week 3 of the 2020 season.

He suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 against the Colts and missed the remainder of the year.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.

Linebackers Eric Kendricks and Nick Vigil have been on the field for all of Minnesota's 261 defensive snaps this season. Second-year linebacker Blake Lynch has been the third linebacker in the Vikings base defense.

Zimmer said Barr's potential return would be a benefit for a defense that is tied for 11th with 23.0 points allowed per game. The Vikings rank 25th in yards allowed per game (389.0).

"I think Nick Vigil's done a really nice job in a lot of the areas. He's very smart, very diligent," Zimmer said. "You know, Anthony Barr has been in the system for a long, long time, and there's certain things we can do with him that we haven't been able to do in these first four ball games.

"You know, he's feeling better every single day," Zimmer added.

Barr, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is a four-time Pro Bowler.