January 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff football game at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth when it comes to Christian Darrisaw and Anthony Barr. Our collective heartache around the OL and then last season’s “tweak” that resulted in one particular defensive stud missing all year will do so with a fan base. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like Darrisaw or Barr will be out for long. In fact, the exact opposite seems to be the case.
Let’s start with our rookie LT.
Darrisaw saw his first NFL action during our disappointing loss to the Browns. While our front five were bullied, Darrisaw stood on the sidelines in pads. The only exception was an extra point attempt, meaning he has one moment in his NFL career as a result. It’s not much to see, but here’s a video in case it’s interesting:
Rashod Hill had a terrible day against Cleveland’s defensive line (in his defense, the Browns have legit talent at DL). The sooner Darrisaw shows he’s all set, the better it will be for our attack. here’s how PFF put it in their recent piece judging each first-round pick: “Darrisaw has yet to play for the Vikings while suffering from an ongoing injury, but he was on his first appearance against the Browns. With left tackle Rashod Hill giving up 10 total pressure and completely overmatching in the game, it’s only a matter of time before Darrisaw gets a chance.”
Barr is expected to play against the Lions:
Barr has a unique ability, that the coaches recognize. He is strong against the pass and run, making it easier for the rest of the front seven to match. He demands a lot of attention from attacking opponents because he is capable of so much, so I expect the Vikings to take a noticeable step forward when he gets there.
Sure, this week’s game features the Lions, a team that has no business and is causing us trouble. It shouldn’t matter how many knees Campbell makes them bite, and it shouldn’t matter how bad the umpires are. Minnesota should completely overwhelm the Lions (with a firm emphasis on the word “should”).
Hopefully, when Darrisaw and Barr are back, it will lead to a mini winning streak as we head towards our Week 7 bye.