Chad Graff / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Vikings enter their bye week atop the NFC North standings, coach Mike Zimmer said he is "prepared" to activate quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list, the first step in ushering back their 2014 first-round draft pick after a 14-month absence. Even with a 6-2 record and six surprisingly effective starts from Case Keenum, the Vikings could welcome Bridgewater to their starting lineup as soon as their next game, Nov. 12 against the Redskins in Washington, D.C.
CHICAGO — After his final practice before his first game this season, Michael Floyd, the St. Paul native in his first season with the Vikings, said he doesn't anticipate any hiccups Monday night, Oct. 9, when he returns for his first game since being suspended following an extreme DUI conviction.
MINNEAPOLIS — With a half-empty bottle of celebratory champagne at her right, Cheryl Reeve, sat at her postgame news conference Wednesday, Oct. 4, and contemplated what her top five players have meant as the Minnesota Lynx won four WNBA championships in seven years. Reeve's trademark ferocity dissipated and she began to cry.
MINNEAPOLIS — A day after Mike Zimmer dismissed questions about the Vikings' injured starting quarterback with terse and vague remarks, the head coach downplayed the severity of Sam Bradford's knee injury, saying he doesn't think Bradford will be out long term. After the Vikings lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-9 on Sunday in the absence of Bradford, Zimmer bristled at questions about the quarterback, saying he could be out as much as six weeks.
MINNEAPOLIS — If Latavius Murray is upset by his limited role with his new team, the $15 million running back isn't showing it. Although Murray appeared destined to replace Adrian Peterson as the Vikings starter when he signed a three-year deal in March, the 27-year-old has just five carries and 12 yards through two games this season. "I think it's still evolving," Murray said. "Whenever I'm in there, I need to make the most of it; continue to keep grasping this offense so I can be an efficient player in this offense."
MINNEAPOLIS—With three hits Sunday, Sept. 17, including a game-breaking grand slam in the fifth inning of the Twins' 13-7 win over the Blue Jays, Joe Mauer upped his batting average to .306. The first baseman who hasn't hit above .277 the past three seasons is hitting at a .400 clip since Aug. 10, a major reason why the Twins continue to inch toward a postseason berth.
MINNEAPOLIS — As the Twins enter the home stretch of this once improbable run toward a postseason berth, manager Paul Molitor has unofficially selected Matt Belisle to serve as the team's closer. "Most days, if Matt is fresh and ready, he's going to get that opportunity," Molitor said. "I think he's earned that over the past month or so." After early-season struggles, Belisle, a 37-year-old veteran of 14 seasons, has emerged as arguably the Twins' top reliever after the team traded closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals at the end of July.
BLAINE, Minn. — On one of his final trips to Minnesota, Arnold Palmer walked the TPC Twin Cities with a notebook in hand, drawing out plans for how he would update the Blaine golf course to make it suitable for a PGA Tour event. Now Hollis Cavner, organizer of the annual 3M Championship held there, and the course are trying to make the late Palmer's vision a reality. Partnered again with 3M, the group has made a bid to the PGA Tour to host a tournament in 2019, and it is optimistic it will be granted an event that could be held annually at TPC Twin Cities.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—In the midst of a breakout campaign that made him a Vikings starter, Adam Thielen presumed he'd spend time in the offseason reflecting on the wild ride from small-town star at Minnesota State to the Vikings' leading receiver. But even with a new three-year, $27 million contract signed in the offseason, Thielen said the moment for reflection still hasn't come. Now, he's dedicated to proving last season wasn't a fluke. Thielen is a Detroit Lakes High School and Minnesota State University-Mankato graduate.
MINNEAPOLIS—On the eve of Opening Day, Brian Dozier, the lone bright spot on a 103-loss Twins team a year ago, admitted that extra attention will be paid to the way this remarkably similar team begins the 2017 season Monday afternoon when they host the Kansas City Royals. Part of that is because the Twins buried themselves and foreshadowed a grueling season a year ago when they opened with nine losses their first nine games on their way to the worst record in Major League Baseball.