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Anthony Barr to undergo season-ending knee surgery

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Anthony Barr's promising rookie season in Minnesota has come to a close.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Friday that the outside linebacker will undergo "very minor" knee surgery that will end his campaign after 12 encouraging starts. Barr hasn't played since Week 13 with what Zimmer labeled a "slight meniscus tear."

"He played great," Zimmer said. "He's a good football player. Good kid. Studies hard. Does everything right. He's very conscientious. Hard-working. He's already excited about getting back."

Barr finished as the NFL's eighth-ranked 4-3 outside linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. We handed the former UCLA star a grade of A- in our first-round rookie rankings after seeing Barr grow weekly into a centerpiece of Minnesota's defense.

The ninth overall pick was especially strong against the run and improved down the stretch as a pass rusher. He missed too many tackles over the second half of the season, but Zimmer sees great promise in Barr, calling him one of the future "cornerstones of this franchise." His best game of the year saw Barr deliver a hat trick of sorts with a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and fumble recovery return for a touchdown in a Week 8 win over the Bucs.

No surgeries are minor -- not for the fellow under the knife -- but we anticipate Barr being ready for the team's slate of offseason activities.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 16 game and recaps the Jaguars' win over the Titans. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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