Vikings LB Eric Kendricks Misses Practice Thursday, Availability for Week 2 in Question

The Vikings could once again be without their top two linebackers this Sunday in Arizona.
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As if the Vikings weren't already dealing with enough, star linebacker Eric Kendricks can now be added to the list of injury concerns. 

Kendricks didn't practice on Thursday with a quad injury, and there is "some concern" about his availability for this week's game against the Cardinals, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin.

"I'm told the Kendricks situation is one the Vikings are monitoring closely," Cronin tweeted. "Sounds like they'll plan to do an MRI at some point."

The Vikings were already almost certainly going to be without Anthony Barr, who has now missed four straight practices. Losing Kendricks would be a much more consequential blow. He's one of the best linebackers in the league and is a key part of both their run defense and coverage schemes.

Kendricks played in Week 1, leading the entire NFL with 15 total tackles. He practiced on Wednesday and wasn't listed on the injury report. He even spoke to reporters on Thursday and gave no indication that anything was wrong. So this is a surprising mid-week thing.

If the Vikings are without both Kendricks and Barr, they'd be down to Nick Vigil (although he too is banged up), Blake Lynch, and Troy Dye at linebacker, with Ryan Connelly and Chazz Surratt as the depth options. That's reminiscent of last December, when Barr and Kendricks were hurt and the Vikings were destroyed on the ground by the Bears and Saints. Whoever is playing LB this week will be faced with the task of trying to help contain Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, an electrifying dual threat who put up five touchdowns on the Titans last Sunday.

Everson Griffen and Harrison Hand also weren't practicing on Thursday. 

Griffen is another surprising mid-week addition to the injury report; he's dealing with a concussion. It's unclear when that would've taken place, but his status for Sunday is now in doubt as well. Griffen played 28 snaps in Week 1 and tied for the team lead with two pressures. If he can't go, D.J. Wonnum and Stephen Weatherly would see additional playing time, with Patrick Jones II and Kenny Willekes the candidates to be active on gameday as a fourth DE.

Hand has missed two straight practices with a hamstring issue. As I speculated yesterday, Parry Nickerson could potentially be elevated from the practice squad to be the backup slot corner behind Mackensie Alexander.

Vigil's status is also up in the air due to his ankle injury. Hopefully he'll be able to practice in full on Friday. The Vikings really can't afford to be without each of their top three linebackers.

Barr and Darrisaw seem highly unlikely to play, and both seem like they could miss significant time this season.

Here's the full injury report:

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