The Minnesota Vikings were shorthanded at linebacker for the first time this season, creating a rotation of players to make up for the loss of middle linebacker Eric Kendricks, who rarely comes out of games.
Kendricks suffered a concussion in Week 8, making him unavailable against the Detroit Lions on Sunday and giving way to increased playing time for other linebackers on a rotational basis to make up for his loss.
Veteran Chad Greenway played 50 snaps, easily the highest amount for him this year as he was the main beneficiary of increased time. Emmanuel Lamur, who had played defense in only one other game – six snaps against the Carolina Panthers – got 16 plays on defense against the Lions. And Audie Cole, who was expected to start for Kendricks at middle linebacker, got his first defensive action of the season and registered 16 snaps there, too.
The Vikings also had a patchwork way of making it work with an in-game injury. When Captain Munnerlyn was lost with knee and ankle injuries after only six snaps, Mackensie Alexander was the first cornerback off the bench, registering 18 snaps (his previous high was 12). But after Alexander was beaten for a touchdown, the Vikings moved Terence Newman into the nickel and had Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes remain outside. Rhodes played 62 of the 66 defensive snaps, Newman was in for 60 of them, and Waynes played in 36 snaps.
VIKINGS SNAPS VS. LIONS