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Vikings Place Willekes on Reserve/COVID-19 List; Add Yarbrough to Active Roster

DE Kenny Willekes
DE Kenny Willekes

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have made a pair of roster moves at defensive end.

Minnesota announced Friday that it has placed defensive end Kenny Willekes on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The team also added defensive end Eddie Yarbrough to the 53-man roster, bringing back a veteran who was with the team for part of 2020.

The Vikings now have six players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Willekes, Harrison Smith, Garrett Bradbury, Ryan Connelly, Dakota Dozier and Timon Parris.

Willekes, a former Michigan State standout, had been a bright spot in the past two games with 57 combined defensive snaps. He was on the practice squad but was elevated for games against Dallas and Baltimore.

He recorded 0.5 sacks and brought energy to the line in the wake of Danielle Hunter's season-ending injury of a torn pec. Willekes actually recorded 1.5 sacks against the Ravens but statisticians ended up taking a sack away from the 24-year-old.

"He played at a different tempo than pretty much anybody else on the field. I don't know how you could not notice him," Vikings Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator Andre Patterson said Wednesday about Willekes. "It was too bad that his one sack got taken away because he would have had 1.5 for the game, but you got to see him run and make plays down the field. I really liked his energy."


The addition of Yarbrough means the Vikings currently have four defensive ends on the 53-man roster: Everson Griffen, D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones II and Yarbrough.

He is a familiar face who played in four games with Minnesota in 2020. He appeared in 31 games with six starts for Buffalo in 2017 and 2018.