By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Vikings may have a much-improved defensive line when they take on the Detroit Lions this weekend.

After defensive tackle Michael Pierce was cleared to return to practice Wednesday, his interior partner Dalvin Tomlinson has been activated from the COVID-19 reserve list.

READ MORE: Vikings Designate DT Michael Pierce To Return To Practice

Tomlinson missed last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers while on the list. Pierce, meanwhile, has missed seven games so far this year.

While it’s not yet clear if either of the tackles will play this weekend, their simultaneous return to practice is certainly good news for a Vikings defense that has struggled.

The defense ranks 24th and 30th in points and yards allowed, respectively. Against the 49ers, the team surrendered 208 yards on the ground, three rushing touchdowns and 34 total points

Tomlinson was the prize signing of the Vikings’ offseason, part of a defensive overhaul that also included the signing of cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, and missed three games on injured reserve earlier this season.

At 5-6, the Vikings need to beat the winless Lions to keep their playoff hopes alive.