Zimmer on Kendricks: ‘He’s a good kid, works real hard, has gotten better each and every year’

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was named First-Team All-Pro by the Associated Press. 

The 27-year old Kendricks earns his first career All-Pro selection after recording 12 passes defensed on the season, tied for the top mark among NFL linebackers. Kendricks has led the team in tackles for five consecutive seasons, tallying 110 total tackles (70 solo) in 2019. The UCLA grad also posted two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four tackles for loss, while starting 15 games for the Vikings.

“Eric’s (Kendricks) had a good year,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Friday. “He’s a good kid, works real hard, has gotten better each and every year. We’re happy for him.”

The Fresno, California, native helped the Vikings defense rank at the top of the league in several categories since being drafted in 2015. In five seasons, the defensive unit ranks in the top two of the league in opponent yards per game (317.3), red zone scoring (45.5 TD percentage), third-down conversions (33.7%), and opponent offensive points per game (18.0). Kendricks is the first Vikings linebacker to be named All-Pro since Chad Greenway (second team) in 2012.

The Vikings are hoping to have Kendricks in the lineup on Sunday when they travel to New Orleans to face the Saints in the NFC Wild Card game. Kendricks, who is dealing with a quadriceps injury, was a full participant at practice on Friday, which is good news for Minnesota.

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