Vikings rookie LB Kendricks handed starting job over bye

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) While most of his Minnesota Vikings teammates got a nice long break during their bye week, rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks got a promotion.

The Vikings decided to trade starting middle linebacker Gerald Hodges to San Francisco last week for a backup offensive lineman and a late-round draft pick. The move opened a spot for Kendricks, a second-round draft pick out of UCLA.

Coach Mike Zimmer says Kendricks has been playing like a starter for several weeks.

Kendricks says he doesn't see the move as a vote of confidence. He spent extra time over the bye week making sure he was prepared for the increased responsibility.

The Vikings host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.



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