The Minnesota Vikings signed linebacker Anthony Barr to their practice squad on Tuesday. They brought back their 2014 first-round draft pick and four-time Pro Bowl pick for depth after an injury to leading tackler Jordan Hicks.
Hicks bruised his right shin in the first quarter of Minnesota’s 27-19 win on Sunday over New Orleans, returned late in the second quarter, and was forced out of the game for good after an aggravation of the injury in the third quarter.
The Vikings said Hicks was discharged on Tuesday. Hicks posted on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, that the procedure was “a huge success.”
Hicks has 87 tackles, tied for 10th in the NFL. He has four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries for the Vikings this season, playing 100% of the defensive snaps in six of the first nine games.
Rookie Ivan Pace Jr. took over the defensive calls without Hicks, and Troy Dye also played extensively in the second half. Brian Asamoah, their only other inside linebacker on the active roster, has missed the past three games with an ankle injury.
The Vikings often use only one inside linebacker in their variety of sets under the aggressive and creative direction of defensive coordinator Brian Flores, with third safety Josh Metellus sometimes playing like a linebacker. Hicks has played a vital role in the defense’s resurgence in 2023.
Barr was the ninth overall pick in 2014 out of UCLA. He was a starting linebacker for eight seasons, before becoming a free agent in 2022. The Vikings signed Hicks to replace him, and Barr played last year for Dallas. He had been unsigned in 2023 until reuniting with the Vikings.
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