Kendricks ready for family reunion against Eagles

When Eric Kendricks takes the field on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, he'll be doing so in front of family not just in the stands, but on the field as well.

Kendricks, the Vikings' emerging star at middle linebacker, will be lined up opposite his older brother Mychal, an outside linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. The two brothers will have plenty to prove to one another, however Eric knows the occasion will be an emotional one for all involved.

“You can’t help but be a little more emotional,” Kendricks said via “That’s my brother over there. We went through a lot together, and it’s crazy we’re in this position.”

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It's the first time the two will face off against each other in the NFL, but it won't be their first encounter as opponents. The two clashed in college when Eric was a freshman at UCLA and Mychal was starring for Cal, with the younger Kendricks coming out on top in a 31-14 victory. It's a moment Eric remembers fondly, despite only sharing the field for one play.

“That was pretty cool,” Kendricks said. “Some good memories, and I think at the time we maybe took it a little bit for granted how cool that was.

“We’re not on the field at the same time since we’re both on defense,” Kendricks added. “But there was one time when I was on punt (coverage) and he was on punt return but we were on the opposite sides of the field. I was kind of staring at him the whole time to see if he was going to come guard me or something, But we both did our assignments, so it was anti-climatic.”

Despite their shared profession, the weekly conversations between the brothers lacks football as a theme, with the focus being on family and other interests. It's a strong relationship that will endure far beyond the playing field, and it's a relationship the Vikings can be thankful for as Mychal paved the way for his younger brother.

“We didn’t know our future and what that held but I know that year he did pretty good,” Kendricks said. “He got a college offer and that sparked a light bulb in my head that I could do it, too.”

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