EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings currently have six linebackers on their active roster, but two of them — Anthony Barr and Ben Gedeon — have been listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Oakland.
That could mean just four healthy linebackers for Week 3, provided Minnesota doesn’t make a roster move. Cam Smith, a fifth-round pick in 2019, is on the practice squad.
If Barr and Gedeon don’t play, Kendricks and Wilson will surely be on the field, whether it’s in the base defense (three linebackers) or in a nickel package (two linebackers).
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer touched on Wilson’s skill set Friday.
“He’s a real versatile guy. He can play in the sub groups, he can play in the base groups,” Zimmer said. “He’s had quite a bit of playing time over the last couple of years, and if he does have to play, we’ll expect him to go in there and play well.”
Wilson blocked a punt in Week 1 and has made five career starts, including last Sunday in Green Bay.
If Barr and Gedeon can’t go, that could mean a chance for Kentrell Brothers or Devante Downs as the third linebacker in Minnesota’s base defense.
“I prepare the same way every week,” said Brothers, a fifth-round pick in 2016. “We’re all taught to learn every position, so even if they weren’t hurt, I’d be preparing to start anyway.”
Downs, a seventh-round pick in 2018, added: “I always prepare as if I’m going to get in. When you’re number is called, you have to be ready.”