As they prepare for their final game of the 2020 regular season, there’s now a chance that the Minnesota Vikings may go into their game against the Detroit Lions without the primary anchor of their offensive line.
On Wednesday morning, the Vikings placed left tackle Riley Reiff on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning that there’s a chance that he could miss Sunday’s finale. As is the case with every player that goes on the COVID-19 list, we don’t know at this point if it’s because he actually tested positive for the virus or if he was just in close contact with someone that has.
Reiff restructured his contract this offseason to afford the Vikings more cap room, and has pretty clearly outplayed that restructured deal. He’s one of just five Vikings to not miss a snap this season and has done a very solid job of protecting the blind side for Kirk Cousins.
On a more conspiratorial note, Reiff also has a clause in his contract that pays him a $1 million bonus if he plays at least 93.75% of the team’s snaps this season. If he should have to sit this one out and the Vikings run at least 67 offensive plays, he would fall below that threshold. I certainly don’t think the Vikings are screwing around with the COVID list in order to avoid paying Reiff $1 million or anything, but I’m guessing that someone would have suggested it at some point.
If Reiff can’t play on Sunday, it will be interesting to see what the Vikings do to replace him. I’d expect that they were already planning on rolling some younger offensive linemen out there like Oli Udoh and even Kyle Hinton, but the left tackle spot might be a bit trickier.