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Vikings DE D.J. Wonnum tests positive, then negative for COVID-19

Wonnum will test again on Thursday to determine if his first test Wednesday might have been a false positive. If he tests negative, he could be cleared to practice.

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Minnesota Vikings defensive end D.J. Wonnum in action during the game between the Vikings and the Detroit Lions Oct. 10, 2021, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Jerome Miron / USA Today Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings starting defensive end D.J. Wonnum on Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19 and then later in the day tested negative, a source said.

The source said that Wonnum will test again on Thursday to determine if his first test Wednesday might have been a false positive. If he tests negative, he could be cleared to practice.

Wonnum was one of four Vikings players to miss practice on Wednesday for what the team said was “not injury related.” The source said Wonnum is fully vaccinated and that he was feeling fine and had no symptoms.

The other Minnesota players to miss practice for “not injury related” reasons were tackle Brian O’Neill, cornerback Mackensie Alexander and tight end Chris Herndon. Details were not immediately available regarding their absences. With Herndon not at practice, the Vikings protected tight end Brandon Dillon on the practice squad.

The Vikings listed as limited in practice center Garrett Bradbury and safety Harrison Smith for “not injury related” reasons. Bradbury was activated off the COVID-19 reserve list Tuesday and Smith activated off it Wednesday.

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Without Wonnum at practice, the Vikings were even thinner at defensive end. Danielle Hunter is out for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle on Oct. 31 against Dallas. Top reserve Kenny Willekes has been on the COVID-19 reserve list since last Friday, and sat out last Sunday’s 27-20 win at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that Willekes needed to “pass a couple tests” to return. Willekes, who is fully vaccinated, would need two negative tests 24 hours apart to come off the list to play against the Packers.

Other defensive ends on the 53-man roster are starter Everson Griffen, rookie Patrick Jones II and Eddie Yarbrough, who was signed last Friday. Jones played 11 snaps against the Chargers and Yarbrough four. The Vikings also have defensive end Nate Orchard on the practice squad.

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