New Orleans Saints
Former New Orleans Saints player Darren Sharper pleaded guilty Monday to rape in a Louisiana drug-and-sexual-assault case, completing a series of pleas in four states that will see him serve at least nine years in prison.
The Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins as a vastly improved defense from last season. However, in the loss, the team was embarrassed by the performance and head coach Mike Zimmer was still upset 24 hours later. He vowed that he will fix the unit. The Vikings face the Chicago Bears in their season finale on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium with draft positioning on the line.
The Minnesota Vikings play two of their last three games on the road, beginning with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday. The Vikings lost to the Lions at TCF Bank Stadium in Week 6, 17-3. The Lions did not have most of their offensive weapons on the field or at 100 percent. The Vikings remain in the playoff picture, but need to win-out and get some help.
The Minnesota Vikings face the red hot Green Bay Packers fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears. The Packers enter the matchup after posting back-to-back 50+ point games. They are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Packers will be heavy favorites to win the game.
The Minnesota Vikings remain hopeful that Kyle Rudolph will return to the lineup Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. He has missed the last seven weeks after having sports hernia surgery following a Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings injury report is pretty clean with just one player each listed as non and limited participants in Thursday’s practice and two players listed as full participants. The Bears have 10 players listed on their injury report.
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The Minnesota Vikings are hopeful tight end Kyle Rudolph will be able to return after missing five games. He had sports hernia surgery following the team’s Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints and targeted the Week 11 matchup with the Chicago Bears as his return date. In other news, former Viking Orlando Thomas lost his battle with ALS Sunday and the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL to get Adrian Peterson reinstated from the commissioner’s exempt list.
The Saints took control of the NFC South with a 28-10 victory over the Panthers last night, their first win in Carolina since 2011. New Orleans enters a three-game home stretch with a 4-4 record, while Carolina (3-5-1), which only has one win in its last seven games, travels to Philadelphia in 10 days.
The Saints are coming off their best game of the year after hammering Green Bay 44-23. However, they have not won a road game this year. The Panthers are hoping to continue that trend, and they will be bringing back a familiar face in running back DeAngelo Williams.
The Saints and Panthers are both 3-4 and yet tied atop the NFC South. New Orleans has an extremely quick turnaround after playing on Sunday night.
The Minnesota Vikings were down a cornerback by the conclusion of practice on Thursday. Josh Robinson suffered an ankle injury and missed the remainder of practice. The team also learned that John Sullivan passed his concussion tests and practiced in a limited capacity. The team listed two players as non-participants, five as limited participants and four as full participants in Thursday’s practice. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have eight players listed on their injury report.
The Minnesota Vikings look to rebound from a bad defensive outing against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The team wants to improve their consistency and team play. Backup defensive tackle Tom Johnson was arrested early Sunday morning. The Lions already have a plethora of ailing stars. They may not play on Sunday. The Vikings added three players to the practice squad and released McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
The Minnesota Vikings may not have their most experienced linebacker Sunday when they face the Atlanta Falcons at TCF Bank Stadium. Chad Greenway has been held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday with injuries to his hand and ribs. The Vikings have nine players listed on their injury report for Week 3.
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 return home to the face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. The Vikings enter the game with a 1-2 record, 0-1 at home. The Falcons enter 2-1, 0-1 on the road. The Falcons have an explosive offense led by the pass-catch duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Defensively, they are average with no one player truly standing out.
The Minnesota Vikings fell to the New Orleans Saints 20-9 Sunday at the Superdome. The offense could not get into the end zone, settling for three field goals instead of getting touchdowns. The defense struggled early, but settled down and kept the team in the game. The special teams were good, with the exception of the punt return unit.
Linebacker Chad Greenway suffered a broken hand in the Minnesota Vikings Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots. The team believes he will be able to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. Greenway was the only player to miss Thursday’s practice. They had eight players injured players that were either limited or full participants Thursday.
NFL teams make succession plans all the time for players moving past their prime. The sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota’s backfield, however, could not have been anticipated.
The Vikings team has had to endure a week of uncertainty and maintain that life will be normal if they just focus on New Orleans. The attempts at normalcy came at practice Wednesday in Winter Park.
The Minnesota Vikings were not competitive in their loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, but head coach Mike Zimmer sees it as a way to find something out about his team. They also announced a pair of personnel was reinstated to the team. Special teams coach Mike Priefer had his suspension reduced from three to two games after undergoing sensitivity training. Running back Adrian Peterson will be active for the Vikings going forward.
The Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of a five-game stretch against some of the league’s best quarterbacks and offenses. The New Orleans Saints pose as a similar threat as the Vikings’ Week 2 opponent. Despite starting the season 0-2, the Saints have an offense that can single-handedly win a game. Quarterback Drew Brees carries the offense. The defense has cost them both games this season.
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.
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The Minnesota Vikings face the New England Patriots in their home opener of 2014. The Patriots are coming off a disappointing loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. The Patriots had a double digit lead at half time, but were held scoreless in the second half and lost by double digits. The Patriots offense is led by quarterback Tom Brady. Darrelle Revis had a solid game in his Patriots debut in Miami.
The New Orleans Saints had a vastly improved defense in the NFL in 2013, but it never hurts to get a bit more veteran leadership and skill onto the roster. That’s what they did by adding Champ Bailey during the offseason, and he is looking for a Super Bowl ring before his stories career ends.