Anthony Barr was a good rookie for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, but he has turned a corner in his second season and is one of the best young defenders in the NFL. Making his 2015 season even more impressive is the fact that he has been playing most of November with a broken hand.
On Monday, Barr told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he suffered the hand injury in a Week 9 win over the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 8. While Barr says that the hand is "all better" now, he was still wearing a wrap when he spoke to reporters on Monday.
In the three games that followed, the broken hand did little to slow down Barr, who finished with eight tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. One of those fumbles negated a huge gain by Falcons running back Tevin Coleman.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was singing Barr's praises after the win that improved the team's record to 8-3.
"I really think the sky is the limit for the guy," Zimmer said. "There's so many things you can do with him. He's been limited the last couple of weeks because of the hand and today we decided we were going to let him loose a little more. That was good. I just think he's got a very, very bright future. He could be a tremendous football player."
The 2014 first-round pick is the Vikings leading tackler and has 2.5 sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles and five passes defensed. He had two forced fumbles and four sacks as a rookie, but finished the season on injured reserve due to a minor knee injury suffered late in the year.
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SB Nation presents: Breaking down Barr's forced fumble