EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings placed right tackle Brian O’Neill on injured reserve Tuesday, a day after coach Kevin O’Connell confirmed that he had a “pretty significant” calf injury.
The move ensures that the Vikings (12-4) will start one and possibly two backup offensive linemen when the playoffs begin in two weeks.
O’Neill suffered the injury Sunday in the Vikings’ 41-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Fellow lineman Austin Schlottmann, who had started four consecutive games at center in place of the injured Garrett Bradbury, was also placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of a fractured left fibula.
Third-string center Chris Reed is expected to start in place of Schlottman in the regular-season finale at Chicago, but O’Connell said “there is hope” that Bradbury could return for the playoffs.
To provide additional depth, the Vikings signed free agent center Greg Mancz to their 53-man roster and offensive tackle Bobby Evans to their practice squad. In the meantime, veteran reserve Oli Udoh is expected to start in place of O’Neill.