Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff won’t play in Sunday’s season finale at Detroit, putting a possible additional $1 million bonus for snap counts in jeopardy.
Defensive end Eddie Yarbrough was designated Saturday as a COVID-19 replacement from the practice squad for Reiff, who was placed Wednesday on the COVID-19 reserve list. The Vikings also elevated cornerbacks Cordrea Tankersley and Tae Hayes from the practice squad for Sunday’s game.
Reiff will be replaced by Rashod Hill, and whether he earns an additional $1 million might hinge on how many plays the Vikings run against the Lions.
Reiff has played all 1,002 Vikings snaps this season and is assured of earning a $1 million bonus for having played 86% of them. He would get another $1 million if he plays 93.75% of the snaps.
If Minnesota, which averages 66.8 plays per game, runs 67 or more Sunday, Reiff would fall below the threshold needed for that bonus. However, even if he falls short, it’s possible the Vikings still could give him the full additional $2 million.
Reiff had the possible bonuses inserted in his contract when it was restructured before the season, and he agreed for his base salary to be cut from $10.9 million to $5.9 million.
The Vikings did not elevate kicker Taylor Bertolet off the practice squad. So Dan Bailey, who missed practices Wednesday and Thursday with a back injury before returning Friday on a limited basis and being listed as questionable, again will do the kicking.
The Vikings needed to add depth at defensive end due to starters Ifeadi Odenigbo (chest) and Jalyn Holmes (groin) being out Sunday and at cornerback with starter Cameron Dantzler (hamstring) and top reserve Chris Jones (groin) also out.
Yarbrough was out of his two standard elevations for this season, so the Vikings had to designate him a COVID-19 replacement or sign him to the 53-man roster for him to play.
Tankersley had his second elevation, his first being Dec. 20 against Chicago, when he played nine snaps on special teams in his Minnesota debut. Hayes got his first elevation, and is in line to make his Vikings debut.
It’s possible Sunday could mark linebacker Eric Wilson’s final game with the Vikings.
Wilson is due to become a free agent, and analyst Jason Fitzgerald has said he could command a contract worth “$9 million or $10 million a year.” If the Vikings re-sign Wilson, they likely would need to part ways with linebacker Anthony Barr, who was lost for the season in Week 2 with a shoulder injury and is on the books in 2021 for a salary-cap number of $15.062 million.
“We’ll see what happens,” Wilson said. “If (the Vikings re-sign him), that’s wonderful. … It would be great if there was an opportunity that made sense for the team and me.’’
With 115 tackles entering Sunday, Wilson will lead the team in 2020, breaking linebacker Eric Kendricks’ five-year run. Kendricks will miss his fifth straight game due to a calf injury, and will finish the season with 107 tackles.
Smith's YAC is up
Due to missing three games because of injury, tight end Irv Smith likely won’t have as many catches as last season. But Smith, who has 28 receptions to 36 in 2019, has increased his yards per catch average from 8.6 to 12.0.
“You’ve got to have a plan after you catch (a ball),’’ Smith said. “I’ve just been trying to work on my YAC (yards after catch), and every time I catch the ball, the first guy is not going to bring me down.’’