EAGAN, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis has tested positive for COVID-19, a source said Friday morning.
On Friday afternoon, the Vikings placed Davis on the COVID-19 reserve list. The team said in a statement that NFL “clubs may not disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.”
A source said rookie Troy Dye has been told he will be activated off injured reserve and start in Davis’ place in the base defense in Sunday’s game at Green Bay. Dye, who has missed the past four games with a midfoot sprain, was designated Monday to return from injured reserve.
The Vikings signed Davis on Sept. 24 as a free agent, two games into the season. He has played in the past four games, including starting the last two. After the Vikings learned of the positive test, he did not practice Friday.
On Wednesday, the Vikings placed rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler on the COVID-19 reserve list. It marked the first time they had put a player on that list since training camp, when a total of nine players were on it.
With two players on the COVID-19 reserve list, head coach Mike Zimmer said the Vikings have ramped up their coronavirus protocols.
“Right now, we’re in intense protocols,” he said. “Less people (being together). We can have virtual meetings, we can still have practice and walkthrough. It will be like this for the next week, as well. It wasn’t too much (Friday) differently.
“We had to submit how we were going to do (Friday’s) meetings and practice and things like that to the league and then have them OK it. … No eating in meetings. You can’t take your mask down. So on and so forth.”
O’Neill more vocal
After tackle Brian O’Neill broke into the lineup as a rookie in 2018, he mostly kept his mouth shut. That’s hardly the case any longer.
O’Neill, in his third season as the starting right tackle, said he’s become more vocal this season.
“I think anytime you’re more comfortable in a system, more comfortable around guys in the building, it’s easier to be yourself and talk to guys and once you have a better relationship with people, you’re able to talk to them a little bit more,” O’Neill said. “So now that I’ve been able to be here and build some really strong relationships with our teammates and coaches, I think it’s more natural that way. But then, at the same time, just knowing that we have a bunch of young guys in our room, if something needs to be said, I’m going to be hopefully willing to say it.”
O’Neill has been Minnesota’s best offensive linemen. Pro Football Focus ranks him No. 18 in the NFL so far this season out of 71 tackles.
–With the Vikings having traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, they will give increased snaps to Jalyn Holmes, in his third year, and rookie D.J. Wonnum. Holmes will replace Ngakoue as the starter on the left side and Wonnum moves up to be the top overall reserve. Zimmer said Holmes has “been doing well in the run game.” Zimmer said Wonnum sometimes is “thinking too much and not really letting his full athletic ability show up.”
–After missing two games due to a hamstring strain, rookie receiver K.J. Osborn is healthy, but it’s uncertain if he will play Sunday. Osborn has been Minnesota’s kickoff and punt returner in three games. In the other three, wide receiver Chad Beebe returned punts and running back Ameer Abullah kickoffs. Special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf declined to speculate on who will handle returns at Green Bay.
–The Packers have beaten the Vikings three straight times. A win Sunday would give them their most consecutive wins in the series since they had five straight victories from 2010-12.