EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings defense will have to hope for a turnaround without one of its captains.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer announced Monday that linebacker Anthony Barr tore a pectoral muscle and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season as he goes on Injured Reserve.
Barr played just 16 snaps in Week 2 against the Colts and was injured in the second quarter.
The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker was Zimmer's first draft choice back in 2014, when the former UCLA standout was the ninth overall selection. Barr has also been a defensive captain in the past three seasons.
"Anthony was our first draft pick that we had when we came here and integral part of our defense," Zimmer said. "Good leader, great guy … it's tearing him up inside that he won't be able to play. But it is what it is, and we have to move on."
Barr has 15.0 career sacks and 36 career tackles for loss to go along with eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He has one defensive touchdown in his career, which came back in 2014 in overtime against Tampa Bay.
Barr's presence as a leader on the defense — he relays the play calls to his teammates — will be missed.
The loss of Barr means more will be asked of All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks, as well as fourth-year linebacker Eric Wilson. Rookie Troy Dye and Eden Prairie native Ryan Connelly, who was added to the roster before Week 1, make up Minnesota's linebacker depth.
"I thought Troy came in and did some good things," Zimmer said. "He had a couple missed tackles, but he ran pretty well.
"Once Barr went out, it got a little confusing since [Kendricks] was trying to get the calls from the headset and make the calls and get guys lined up," Zimmer added. "That got a little confusing. Wilson did fine. We've got a long of things we have to work on with those guys but we anticipate they'll continue to get better."
The Vikings also have linebackers Hardy Nickerson and Blake Lynch on the practice squad. Lynch spent all of the offseason with the Vikings. Nickerson joined the team after training camp opened.
Through two games, the 0-2 Vikings have allowed 876 total yards and 71 points.