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Published: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 03:40:19 GMT2017-10-19T03:40:19Z


All eyes on Teddy Bridgewater in Vikings practice, but entire quarterback situation worth watching

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 02:07:56 GMT2017-10-19T02:07:56Z

Bridgewater practices, but Keenum still slated to start.

Vikings know Ravens get (and give) their share of turnovers

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 03:39:08 GMT2017-10-19T03:39:08Z

Mike Zimmer on Teddy Bridgewater's return: 'We still don't know where it's going to go'

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:20:33 GMT2017-10-18T21:20:33Z

Before quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suited up for his first practice in nearly 14 months on Wednesday, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wanted to temper expectations. For a coach often preaching not  getting “too high or too low,” it makes sense, even more so considering how far Bridgewater has come and how far he has yet to go. “I think everybody feels really good for Teddy,” Zimmer said. “He’s worked extremely hard to get to this point to where he can get back on the practice field.” Zimmer added an important piece of context to Bridgewater’s 2017 prospects, a season after an ambulance arrived to Winter Park when he tore multiple ligaments, including his anterior cruciate ligament, and dislocated his left knee during a routine practice drill. “We still don’t know where [practice reps are] going to go or where that’s going to lead to,” Zimmer said. “But I think everybody feels good for him because they know what kind of kid he is and how hard he’s worked. He’s probably not going to play this week, so we need to put the brakes on things a little bit.” To return to the playing field, Bridgewater will need to show his durability in “uncontrolled environments,” Zimmer said, after working through individual practice drills during his rehab. On Wednesday, Bridgewater took a handful of the first-team reps, a source told the Star Tribune, behind quarterback Case Keenum, who is preparing to start again Sunday against the Ravens. They’ve planned to ease Bridgewater into the mix and evaluate him. “[Bridgewater] has been in a very controlled environment for the last 14 months,” Zimmer said. “So, eventually, we have to work him into some uncontrolled environments.” The Vikings’ 21-day window to evaluate Bridgewater begins Wednesday before they’ll need to make a decision on whether he’ll be activated or placed on injured reserve.

Victories over Packers, Bears improve Vikings' chances to win division

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 01:25:08 GMT2017-10-19T01:25:08Z

Beating Packers and Bears, says Kyle Rudolph, jump-started team’s quest for NFC North title.

Sam Bradford, Stefon Diggs and Anthony Barr held out of Vikings practice

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:17:26 GMT2017-10-18T21:17:26Z

The Vikings returned to the practice field Wednesday with one quarterback up and a handful of starters still down. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rejoined his Vikings teammates on the practice field for the first time in nearly 14 months, starting the 21-day window in which the Vikings have to evaluate him before needing to activate or stash him on injured reserve. Ted’s back. — Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) October 18, 2017 However, five players were not practicing at the start of Wednesday’s session open to reporters: quarterback Sam Bradford (knee), receiver Stefon Diggs (groin), linebacker Anthony Barr (concussion/ankle), receiver Michael Floyd (hamstring) and guard Nick Easton (calf). Barr is in the concussion protocol. Bradford, Diggs and Easton, who missed Sunday’s win vs. the Packers, have not practiced since suffering (or reaggravating) injuries during the Vikings win in Chicago on Oct. 9. Three defenders were limited Wednesday for the Vikings: cornerback Xavier Rhodes (shoulder), safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) and cornerback Mackensie Alexander (hip). For the Ravens: WR Breshad Perriman (concussion), CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles), OT Ronnie Stanley (mouth), TE Benjamin Watson (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Maxx Williams (ankle), G/C Matt Skura (knee) and LB Tim Williams (thigh) did not practice Wednesday. WRs Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) and Mike Wallace (back) were limited.

The last Vikings game with replacement players was 30 years ago today

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:13:39 GMT2017-10-18T20:13:39Z

Sports Illustrated has a wonderful piece this week about “The Worst Game in NFL History,” played during the NFL strike year of 1987 between woeful replacement players for the Bills and Giants. Both teams had already lost their first two games filled with replacement players; the third was a bizarre 6-3 overtime win for the Bills in which Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor played for the Giants after crossing the picket line. He had two sacks and drew seven holding penalties. It was the last of the three weeks of NFL replacement games, before the strike ended and the regulars returned. Really, you should read the rest of it. The piece also serves to remind us about the 1987 Vikings, whose season was almost wholly undone by the strike. Minnesota started the year 2-0 with its regular roster. Then the strike hit, and the Vikings’ replacement players went 0-3, losing by a combined score of 70-33 to Green Bay, Chicago and Tampa Bay — all division foes at the time. The strike ended, and the Vikings rallied to win five of their next six. But they lost three of their final four to finish the year 8-7 (one week was just flat-out missed in the labor squabble). Five teams in each conference made the playoffs back then. Four NFC teams qualified with records of at least 11-4. The Vikings squeaked in as the fifth, finishing one game ahead of three teams tied at 7-8. But they were also better than that record indicated, having gone 8-4 with their regular players. They dispatched 12-3 New Orleans in the first round in a 44-10 rout, then defeated 13-2 San Francisco by a final of 36-24 to reach the NFC title game against 11-4 Washington. The Redskins that year won all their replacement games, so really it was a meeting of 8-4 teams — with Washington at home. And of course you probably know the rest. The score was tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter. Washington took the lead on a late touchdown to go up 17-10. The Vikings drove down inside Washington’s 10, where they faced fourth down. Wade Wilson was quarterbacking, and Darrin Nelson worked his way open near the goal line. Wilson delivered the pass, with two Washington defensive players in the area as well as Vikings WR Anthony Carter (in talking last week to Tommy Kramer, who was on the sideline, he still wasn’t sure who the pass was really intended for). Nelson had two hands on what could have been a game-tying touchdown, but the ball bounced to the ground. There are plenty of fresher “woulda coulda shoulda” moments for Vikings fans, but the way that whole season played out from the 0-3 replacement players to the ending is right up there.

Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:50:24 GMT2017-10-18T21:50:24Z

Super Bowl odds for Vikings, Packers see huge shift after Aaron Rodgers injury

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:53:38 GMT2017-10-18T15:53:38Z

It’s hard to get an exact measurement of just how much Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone changed the landscape of the NFC North, the NFC and really the entire NFL this season. But one reflection of how the Packers — and Vikings — are viewed much differently now than they were just a few days ago before the injury can be seen through the change in betting markets. Going into Week 6, CBS Sports had the Packers listed at 5 to 1 odds in Las Vegas to win the Super Bowl — best in the NFC and second-best in the NFL behind the Patriots. The Packers had a 4-1 record at the time, and Rodgers was playing as well as ever. The Vikings, meanwhile, were sitting at 40 to 1 odds — one of five teams tied for the 12th strongest odds, so basically right in the middle of the pack. Fast-forward one week, one game and one broken bone later: ESPN has updated Super Bowl odds listed for every team. They might not be from the exact same sports book, but most books have pretty similar odds. ESPN runs its odds from the Westgate Super Book, and here’s how they look: The Packers are now at 30 to 1 odds — 12th among NFL teams. And the Vikings have jumped up to 16 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl — seventh among NFL teams. Some of that is surely tied to the way the standings changed when the Vikings defeated the Packers 23-10 in the game during which Rodgers was hurt early on. Both teams are now 4-2, with the Vikings claiming the early upper hand with a head-to-head win. Detroit also lost, pushing the Lions down to 3-3. But the Rodgers factor has to make up a significant share of the drop. Online odds, by the way, are even more dramatic. Per this item released Tuesday, the Packers are at 75 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl now that Rodgers is out and just 5 to 1 odds of even making the playoffs. The Vikings are 22 to 1 on that site, ninth-best among NFL teams. That site, by the way, lists 33 to 1 odds that Rodgers plays at all again this season — deeming it only a little more likely than Colin Kaepernick signing with the Packers (38 to 1).

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Tue, 05 Sep 2017 05:09:15 GMT2017-09-05T05:09:15Z