By Mike Max

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — So what are the Minnesota Vikings doing this week to prepare for an unknown opponent?

Preparing for themselves, so to speak. They also have a familiar face back on the field.

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Practice looked just a little different on Monday today, because one of the players practicing hasn’t been there for some time. Sam Bradford is back, probably won’t play in the playoffs, but can help.

“Yeah I mean you want depth everywhere. You want guys that help the team win and he’s one of them,” quarterback Case Keenum said. “We’ve got a great quarterback room and it’s great to have more than one set of eyes looking at defenses.”

The last time the Vikings played a playoff game, it was outside and the story line was the weather. It didn’t matter, Seattle still won. Most of the Vikings will say maybe it’s a home field advantage, but we’ll take the indoors any time.

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That is now a distant memory. This is the here and now. A loud stadium with a defense that can define an opposing offense. And this week, they are allowed to just study.

“When you watch it on TV, the camera is so zoomed in you think it’s guys just hitting and running. There’s a mental aspect that’s really a lot of fun,” safety Harrison Smith said. “That’s stuff that you spend the most time on really.”

Kyle Rudolph and Xavier Rhodes were held out of practice, precautionary. Rhodes did take time for friendly sparring with the head coach.

And he did take time to assess why this defense is what it is.

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“Man everyone knows this defense, everyone. Everyone stands out as individuals but we’re great as a team, good as one,” Rhodes said. “We have our moments when one person plays awesome one game and another person plays awesome the next game. The next game, we all play awesome.”

Mike Max