Vikes rule LB Barr out vs. Bengals with nagging knee trouble

NFL

EAGAN, Minn. (AP)Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has been ruled out for the season opener at Cincinnati because of a nagging knee injury that kept him on the sideline for much of the preseason.

The Vikings also listed rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw as out for the game on Sunday against the Bengals, with their first-round draft pick still catching up after a second offseason surgery on his midsection to address a groin injury he had in college. Rashod Hill is the starter.

Barr tore his pectoral muscle in the second game of 2020 and missed the remainder of the season. Coach Mike Zimmer said Friday ”he’s close” to being ready to play. Newcomer Nick Vigil, who played the first four seasons of his career in Cincinnati, will start in Barr’s place at the strong side spot and make the calls for the defense.

Another free agent addition this season, wide receiver Dede Westbrook, is at full speed after being brought along slowly upon his arrival at the start of training camp. He tore the ACL in his knee with Jacksonville in 2020 and only appeared in two games. He’ll be one of the options at the No. 3 wide receiver spot and be the primary punt returner, Zimmer said.

The Bengals ruled out cornerback Trae Waynes (hamstring) for the game against his former team. He was Minnesota’s first-round draft pick in 2015 and signed with Cincinnati last year.

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