MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two friends of Eric Kendricks and fellow standouts on the Minnesota Vikings’ defense are done for the season with injuries.

The sixth-year linebacker has a host of under-25 players behind him in the secondary. These hurdles haven’t kept Kendricks from matching the All-Pro level he established for the Vikings last season.

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He is third in the NFL with 84 total tackles. With linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter missing, Kendricks has been as vital as ever for a young defense.

Coach Mike Zimmer has tried not to saddle him with additional responsibility, but there’s been no hiding his outsized role.

The Vikings face the Bears Monday night in Chicago.

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