Barr ‘making progress,’ just like defense

Anthony Barr is progressing toward a more regular role on his way back from injury, but for now mental reps will have to do during full-team drills.

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has been sidelined with an injury for the majority of the offseason. The specifics of the injury are still a mystery, as neither him nor the coaching staff will say anything detailed about it. All we do know is that it is not an injury to the same knee that ended his season prematurely in 2014.

Whatever the injury is, he seems to be recovering from it since he was practicing some during the Vikings’ first minicamp on Tuesday. Barr did not participate in the team 11-on-11 drills, but he did have his helmet with him and was taking part in individual and position drills.

“I did the first 30 minutes of practice,” he said. “More than I have done, obviously, since the offseason so it felt good to be out here.”

Even though Barr has not been able to participate in full-team drills, just being present at practice has been important for him as he continues to learn the defense. Being able to watch his teammates from the sideline and taking mental reps has definitely helped him.

This is only his second year in the NFL and only his fourth year playing linebacker, so all the extra work he can get helps.

“That definitely helps, definitely helps, especially the mental part,” Barr said. “So we are a lot further this year, this time, than we were last year at this time, obviously. Everybody’s excited and I think we’re making progress.”

Not only is Barr excited to return to the practice field and be able to participate with his teammates again, but he also is ready to get the season started. He has already missed a lot of time in his young career because of injury, but he doesn’t seem too worried about that moving forward.

“Very excited, very excited,” Barr said. “… We made a lot of progress and we are a lot further along than we were last year so everybody’s excited and we are looking forward to getting the season going.”

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