The Minnesota Vikings get another chance to defeat a rebuilding team Sunday with a road game against the Indianapolis Colts. With a young team that has no room for error, health is a big deal for the Vikings.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said in his Wednesday press conference that he expects every player, including the four players that missed Sunday’s opener, at practice this week. How much they participate and whether or not they play Sunday in Indianapolis will be dictated as the week’s practices come to an end.
Game planning to face the Colts
It doesn’t appear as if Colts linebacker Dwight Freeney is going to play on Sunday. The Vikings may have a different game plan whether or not he is in the lineup.
Frazier added during his Wednesday press conference that he expects the Colts’ offense to be better than it was against the Chicago Bears in Week One.
Rookie kicker Blair Walsh was named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week after connecting on 4-4 field goals and 2-2 on extra points. The former Georgia Bulldog made a 55-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to overtime. It tied the second-longest field goal in team history with Ryan Longwell’s kick in 2007. It fell one yard short of the team record by Paul Edinger set in 2005. He is the first rookie kicker in Vikings history to win the award. The last time any Viking received the honor was Longwell in 2008.
He later added a 38-yarder in overtime, which ties him for third longest overtime field goal in team history.
Walsh tweeted late Wednesday morning his appreciation for long snapper Cullen Loeffler’s snaps and punter Chris Kluwe’s holds.
Peterson sets Vikings rushing mark
Adrian Peterson returned from last year’s knee injury and finished the game with 84 yards on 17 carries. After reaching 67 yards in the game, he surpassed Robert Smith as the team’s all-time leading rusher. He is now three or four good games away from getting into the top 50 of the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage leaders.
Smith left Peterson a video congratulations Sunday with words of encouragement to chase the league’s all-time mark. Peterson’s 6,818 yards are just 11,537 yards short of Emmitt Smith’s all-time record.
Coming off the injury, Frazier believes Peterson is “pretty close” to the pre-injured Adrian Peterson.
Vikings facing several familiar faces
The Colts have three former Vikings on its current roster.
Running back Mewelde Moore headlines the group. The nine-year NFL veteran spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Vikings. He had 264 carries, 1,285 rushing yards, 116 receptions, 1,093 receiving yards and four total touchdowns while playing for the Vikings. He went on to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an unrestricted free agent, where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.
Wide receiver Kris Adams spent 16 days on the Vikings practice squad last season from Dec.14 – Jan.1. The Vikings signed him to a future contract in early January. He was released in mid-May before signing with the Colts in June. He had two catches for 26 yards in his NFL debut last week against the Bears.
Offensive lineman Darrion Weems was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in May. The Vikings released him in late July. He quickly signed with the New England Patriots and was placed on waivers at the end of August. The Colts claimed the former Oregon Duck and currently have him on the practice squad.
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Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.