Former Oregon Duck Troy Dye set for first career NFL start in Week 8

After falling to the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Troy Dye will get to prove he’s a starting linebacker in the NFL.

Due to Todd Davis testing positive for coronavirus Friday morning, Troy Dye will start in Minnesota’s base defense in Week 8 against Green Bay, reports Chris Tomasson.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that a Minnesota Vikings linebacker tested positive for COVID-19 Friday morning without specifically naming who. 

The former Oregon Duck was set to return from IR in time for the Vikings Week 8 matchup after missing the last five weeks, the team announced Monday. He’s listed as a strongside linebacker.

The Vikings drafted Dye 132nd overall during the 2020 NFL Draft and he saw some playing time prior to being put on IR. Especially in Week 2 when then-starting linebacker Anthony Barr suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the second quarter. With Barr declared out for the remainder of the contest, Dye stepped up and replaced him in the game.

“I thought Troy came in and did some good things,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said per the Star Tribune. “He had a couple missed tackles, but he ran pretty well. Once Barr went out, it got a little confusing because Eric [Kendricks] was trying to get the calls from the headset and then make the calls and get guys lined up, so that got a little confusing. [Eric] Wilson did fine. We still got a lot of things we got to work on with those guys, but we anticipate that they’ll continue to get better.”

 

After Barr left the game, Dye played 21 defensive snaps while dealing with an ankle injury.

Heading into his rookie season, the four-time leading tackler for the Oregon Ducks thought he could help the Vikings win and was willing to do whatever it takes, including special teams. He said it best himself, he’s “a big team guy.” 

“Any impact I can make whether it’s on special teams, whether it’s coming in on third down, whether it’s different packages. Just any way I can get out there and help the team propel to the next level I’m willing to do because I’m a big team guy,” said Dye. “And I love just winning games. So, anything I can do to help win games, I’m going to go out there and give it my all.”

Dye had lived up to that promise playing through an ankle injury sustained in the second quarter against Indianapolis, but the Vikings put him on IR shortly after.

Since his return, Zimmer again complimented Dye stating he’s “running around good” and he’s “done a nice job” since rejoining the team on the practice field, per Chris Tomasson.

On Sunday, he’ll get to show what he’s capable of in his first professional game. 

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