It’s the middle of July, but the football season is officially just around the corner. The Minnesota Vikings report to the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato, on Saturday for training camp. So what should we keep an eye on as the team practices in Mankato?
Matt Kalil’s performance for the Minnesota Vikings last season was frequently dissected, and dissed. For the left tackle, last year was best left forgotten.
The idea Wednesday morning was for the Minnesota Vikings to build a playground like they do every year — this time in Falcon Heights. Vikings employees were able to join with volunteers and start in on construction, and they made progress. But the team never got to join because the skies opened.
The Minnesota Vikings have exercised the fifth-year options on the contracts for safety Harrison Smith and left tackle Matt Kalil. The Vikings announced the decisions Monday, ensuring that both first-round picks from the 2012 draft will remain under team control through 2016.
The Minnesota Vikings have more confidence and optimism heading into this offseason than they did a year ago. They have two of the most important pieces in place in head coach Mike Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater. Also, they improved in several areas from the past season. The Vikings have 12 free agents this offseason, but just one opening day starter.
The Minnesota Vikings outlasted the Chicago Bears for a 13-9 victory Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings finish the season with the third best record in the NFC North, despite winning just one inter-divisional game. The Vikings’ good, but not great, performances from the offense, defense and special teams units helped bring the win home.
The Minnesota Vikings play their last game of the season Sunday against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. The Bears are one game behind the Vikings in the NFC North Division standings and would move out of the cellar with a victory. They have lost four straight games overall and three consecutive on the road.
Two months ago, Matt Kalil and the rest of the Minnesota Vikings offensive linemen were reeling. The Detroit Lions had just sacked rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater eight times, relentless pressure that also led to three interceptions, while forcing seven punts and limiting the Vikings to three points.
The Minnesota Vikings will not have starting running back Jerick McKinnon Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. He has been bothered by a lower back injury that needs a week off to heal. A committee of Matt Asiata (who missed last week’s game due to a concussion), Joe Banyard and Ben Tate will get the carries in McKinnon’s place. The Vikings have 11 players listed on their injury report and the Panthers have seven players listed on theirs.
Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil had more problems than just the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. After the game ended, he did not talk to the media and then had an incident with a fane just outside TCF Bank Stadium. Kalil apologized for dodging the media and called the incident afterward “no big deal.” The Vikings lost their other starting tackle Phil Loadholt for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The Minnesota Vikings face the Carolina Panthers in the middle game of a three-game home stand on Sunday. The Panthers are not living up to expectations after finishing with the second best record in the NFC last season. They have struggled with injuries on offense and poor play on defense. It is highly unlikely that either team will compete for the playoffs, but a win on Sunday will be a big momentum building moment toward next season.
A rough day on the field for Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil on Sunday against Green Bay was only compounded once he left the stadium that night. Video surfaced on Monday of Kalil knocking the hat off of a fan that was heckling him as he walked to his vehicle after the game.
The Minnesota Vikings are thin on healthy running backs with Matt Asiata out and Jerick McKinnon banged up. McKinnon is expected to play with a lower back issue, but the team claimed Ben Tate off waivers as insurance. Sharrif Floyd’s status is the biggest question mark of any injury on the team. He banged knees with a teammate and was held out of practice because of it. The Vikings list 13 players on their injury report and the Green Bay Packers list eight on theirs.
The Minnesota Vikings need their first round draft over the last few years to continue their development. The team is not considered a Super Bowl contender this season, so it is better to develop rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater properly to ensure the team is consistently at that level.
The Minnesota Vikings are just six games into Mike Zimmer’s tenure as head coach of the team and he is already figuring out his most important challenge to making the team a consistent winner. Zimmer wants his players to develop the mindset that losing is not OK. Wide receiver Greg Jennings believes the players need to start taking care of themselves. Zimmer hinted that their may be changes on the team’s offensive line.
The Minnesota Vikings recorded over 200 yards rushing against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The offensive line was a big part of rookie Jerick McKinnon and veteran Matt Asiata’s big days. The Vikings made a roster move by signing quarterback Chandler Harnish to the practice squad and released wide receiver Donte Foster. Former Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford signed with the Washington Redskins.
Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the starter for the Minnesota Vikings while veteran Matt Cassel is out with fractures in his foot. The first round draft pick filled in nicely for the 10-year during the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. It was not the ideal situation for him to make his NFL debut, but the team was pleased with his performance.
The Minnesota Vikings are still trying to turn the national perception of the team, but head coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t care. He only cares about what the team can control. Zimmer is optimistic that almost all injured players will be available to practice this week. The Vikings re-signed offensive linemen Brandon Fusco the day before beating the St. Louis Rams. The team made a roster move by reaching an injury settlement with Jamarca Sanford.
The Minnesota Vikings posted a dominant performance in their season opening 34-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams Sunday the Edward Jones Dome. The Vikings made very few mistakes and limited the Rams’ stars. Cordarrelle Patterson ran the ball for over 100 yards on three carries and the defense tallied five sacks and two interceptions.
The Minnesota Vikings begin the Mike Zimmer era with a road game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.
Most of the questions in the pre-season are about rookies, newcomers from other teams and a new coaching staff. The Vikings have another evaluation – this time with a veteran.
The Minnesota Vikings will likely be without Josh Freeman for Sunday’s contest against the Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field. That means third-year quarterback Christian Ponder will take the reigns of the first unit. The Vikings listed four players as non-participants, four as limited participants and four as full participants for Thursday’s practice.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been listed as probable for Monday’s night game against the New York Giants after missing some practice time this week because of tightness in his hamstring.
The Minnesota Vikings never had to worry about their offensive line last season. With everyone coming back this year, they figured that unit would be the least of their concerns in 2013. But the big guys up front were shaky in the preseason, and that carried over in a season-opening loss to Detroit. Now one of the chief focuses heading into Chicago this weekend is getting the group back to its once-dominant form.