EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have been without Michael Pierce for the past four games with an elbow injury, and will now be without the mammoth defensive tackle even longer.
Minnesota announced Saturday that Pierce is going on Injured Reserve, meaning he must miss at least three games before he is eligible to return.
Pierce joined the Vikings as a free agent in the spring of 2020 and voluntarily opted out of that season to due COVID-19.
He played the first four games of the 2021 season — collecting a pair of sacks in the season opener — and was on the field for 120 total defensive snaps in those games.
Pierce was injured during practice before the Vikings Week 4 game against the Browns, but aggravated the injury during that game.
He had missed games against Detroit, Carolina, Dallas and Baltimore (his former team), and now cannot return until Week 13 against Detroit at the earliest.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.
The Vikings will rely on Dalvin Tomlinson and Armon Watts up front, as the latter has stepped into Pierce's starting role of late. Minnesota also has Sheldon Richardson and James Lynch on the active roster at defensive tackle.
Minnesota also made two more roster moves, elevating safety Myles Dorn and cornerback Tye Smith from the practice squad to the active roster ahead of Week 10.
Dorn made his NFL debut in Week 9 against the Ravens, playing 10 snaps on special teams. He helped spring Kene Nwangwu for his 98-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
Smith is a veteran of 41 career NFL games, including seven starts. He was with Seattle in 2015 before making all of his starts with Tennessee in 2017 and 2019-2020. The Vikings added Smith to the team in early June.