Vikings Bring an Old Friend to the Active Roster Ahead of Week 17

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings were far from unscathed by the time their Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions ended.

Not only did they miss out on a chance to keep their hopes of another NFC North title alive, but they suffered multiple injuries along the way, including season-ending injuries for T.J. Hockenson and D.J. Wonnum. Amidst this new wave of injuries, the Vikings announced on Friday that an old friend would be coming to the active roster: Anthony Barr.

Vikings Bring an Old Friend to the Active Roster

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings tweeted on Friday evening, “The #Vikings have signed Anthony Barr from the practice squad to the active roster. LB Nick Vigil has been signed to the practice squad.”

Barr joined the Vikings practice squad back on November 14th, and since then, he has been elevated for two games: Week 11 against the Denver Broncos and Week 12 against the Chicago Bears. In those games, Barr recorded a tackle and a fumble recovery while playing 26 total defensive snaps.

With both Hockenson and Wonnum headed to IR, the Vikings had room on the 53-man roster this week, giving them the chance to bring Barr to the active roster.

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Barr was a staple in Minnesota’s defense for nearly a decade when Minnesota had one of the most fearsome defensive units in the league. The linebacker was selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he immediately started 12 games for the team. During that rookie season, he put together 70 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 passes defended, and 2 forced fumbles.

In the following years, the linebacker would emerge as one of the best talents in the entire league. He was named to the Pro Bowl in every season from 2015-18. His career was highlighted by a 2017 season in which he recorded 75 tackles and nine TFLs during the regular season. The Vikings were the best in the league in both points allowed and yards allowed, making their way to the NFC Championship Game.

Barr finished his tenure with the Vikings struggling with injuries. He missed all but two games in 2020 because of a torn pectoral muscle, and he played just 11 games in 2021. He recorded 72 tackles and just three TFLs during his last year as the Vikings finished the season 8-9 but 6-5 with him in the lineup.

Old Friend
Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr singles number one after the Vikings stop the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

Barr joined the Dallas Cowboys for the 2022 season where he recorded 58 tackles, a pair of tackles for loss, a sack, and a pass defended over the course of 14 games. 10 of those games were starts for Barr on a Cowboys defense that gave up the sixth-fewest points during the season.

Now, the linebacker hopes to bolster the defense in Minnesota to make one final push for the playoffs over the final two weeks of the season.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.