By Joseph Gunther
Minnesota Vikings rookie linebacker Anthony Barr needs to have surgery on his injured knee, officially ending his rookie season. The No. 9 overall draft pick last May has missed the last two games with the injury and has been trying to take it week by week, but could wait any longer.
“It hasn’t been right,” he said. “So it’s time to fix it up. … Nothing is torn.”
That is the extent of what was revealed, but Head Coach Mike Zimmer called it a “very minor procedure” and that “it’s very similar to a slight meniscus tear.”
The Vikings do not believe it is a long term issue, but it will keep him off the field the remaining two games of the season.
“It should be nothing,” Zimmer said. “It really should be nothing. He’ll be getting going again. He’s a great kid. I don’t think it will be an issue at all.”
Barr, prior to suffering the injury prior to the Week 11 game in Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears, was having a very good season. Some believed he would be a candidate to win defensive rookie of the year honors. However, missing the last four games of the will pretty much take him out of the running.
“I thought it was decent,” Barr said about his first season in the NFL. “I would say it was a B, B-minus. Something like that.
Barr was asked about what improvements he needs to make next season.
“We could sit here and talk about that all day,” he said. “It’s a long list. I just want to get better as a play, as a leader and hopefully strides for next week.
“I don’t think (the surgery) is going to slow me down. My season just ended a little earlier than everybody else’s. Just got to continue to improve and I have the whole offseason to do that. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field.”
The knock on Barr this season was tackling ability. He missed too many tackles after getting himself in the right position. That really became apparent during the loss to the Bears and following two weeks.
He has 70 total tackles, four sacks, four tackles for a loss, 13 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, two fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a fumble return for a touchdown in 12 games.
“He’s going to be so much further ahead of where he was when the rookies got here,” Zimmer said. “So I think really the sky is the limit for him.
“He played great. He’s a good football player. He’s a good kid who studies hard and does everything right. He’s very conscientious, hard-working, can’t wait, he’s already excited about getting this fixed and getting back to playing.”
The team has not determined whether he would go on injured reserve for the season finale against the Bears or if he will be one of the inactive players.
The Complete injury Report
The Vikings list Barr (knee) and guard Charlie Johnson (ankle) as out. They list tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle/knee) as doubtful. They list safety Robert Blanton (ankle/knee) as questionable. They list defensive tackle Linval Joseph (illness), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee), wide receiver Greg Jennings (hamstring), running back Matt Asiata (foot), defensive end Brian Robison (ankle), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (wrist), safety Andrew Sendejo (thumb) and long snapper Cullen Loeffler (illness) as probable.
The Dolphins list guard Nate Garner (illness) as out. They list offensive tackle Dallas Thomas (foot) and running back Daniel Thomas (knee) as doubtful. They list linebacker Jelani Jenkins (foot), safety Don Jones (shoulder) and cornerback Jamar Taylor (shoulder) as questionable. They list tight end Charles Clay (hamstring), cornerback Cortland Finnegan (ankle), linebacker Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), linebacker Koa Misi (hamstring/knee), linebacker Chris McClain (ankle), linebacker Jordan Tripp (shoulder) and safety Jimmy Wilson (ankle) as probable.
For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.