How does the inflammatory response protect your body from pathogens?
It allows more phagocytes to come to the infected area
If somewhere on your body is inflamed, it basically just means the blood vessels in that area expanded. They expand to allow phagocytes, macrophages, and leukocytes to flood the area. However, the rate at which they arrive is slower if the blood vessels are their normal size, so the blood vessels expand. The expansion of these vessels increases blood flow so you'd therefore get more phagocytes to the infected area to fight the virus.
I wouldn't say it protects against viruses, but rather helps to fight against them.