EAGAN, Minn. — Linebacker Anthony Barr has become the most notable Vikings player on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Barr, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a team captain, was placed on the list Thursday, July 30, becoming the team’s eighth player on it.
This reserve list category was created for players who either test positive for coronavirus or have been been placed in quarantine for having been in contact with an infected person. NFL teams will not designate which category any player is in.
Barr is the third projected starter to be placed on the list, following rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Others on the list are tackle Oli Udoh, linebacker Cameron Smith, rookie tackle Blake Brandel, rookie safety Brian Cole II and tackle Tyler Higby, who signed as an undrafted free agent.
Vikings rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans reported for training camp at the TCO Performance Center on July 23 and all other veterans reported Tuesday. Testing is being performed daily.
Rookies who had two negative coronavirus tests have been allowed into the practice facility. Veterans need three negative tests to enter the facility, and this weekend is likely the soonest that could happen.
Barr was chosen for four straight Pro Bowls before not being selected last season. With nose tackle Linval Joseph and defensive end Everson Griffen gone, Barr is the Vikings’ only returning defensive captain. Joseph signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after being released and Griffen has said he will not re-sign with the Vikings as a free agent.
Minnesota has 78 players on the active roster, two less than the 80 allowed for training camp unless the Vikings want to go with a split-squad format until Aug. 16, and then it would be 90. If the Vikings elect to have an 80-man limit, they would need to start making roster moves after more than two players return from the COVID-19 list.
Wozniak retires from NFL
Former University of Minnesota stalwart Nate Wozniak, who had a brief preseason stint last year with the Vikings, is retiring from the NFL.
The New York Giants on Thursday placed Wozniak on the reserve/retired list. He played tight end in college before being moved to tackle and spending his rookie season of 2018 on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. Wozniak had stints with four teams last year.
After being waived by the Saints, Wozniak was with the Vikings in the preseason last August for three weeks before being let go. He then was on practice squads for the Atlanta Falcons, Saints and Giants. After last season, Wozniak signed a reserve/future contract with the Giants.
Cook ranked No. 21
In the NFL Network’s annual ranking of the league’s top 100 players, running back Dalvin Cook was No. 21, the highest for a Vikings offensive player since running back Adrian Peterson was No. 5 in 2016.
Five Minnesota players were in the top 100, with voting done by NFL players. In addition to Cook, defensive end Danielle Hunter was No. 40, quarterback Kirk Cousins No. 58, safety Harrison Smith No. 64 and linebacker Eric Kendricks No. 83.
Cook’s ranking was the highest overall for a Vikings player since defensive end Everson Griffen was No. 19 in 2018.