Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Defensive tackle Tom Johnson doesn't deny it. The Vikings got caught up last year in reading their press clippings. The Vikings were 5-0 entering the bye week, and all sorts of good things were being said and written about them. Then they collapsed, losing four straight games and eight of their final 11 to finish 8-8 and miss out on the playoffs. After Sunday's 33-16 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns at London's Twickenham Stadium, the Vikings are 6-2 heading into their bye week. And they are determined not to have a repeat of last year.
MINNEAPOLIS — After a week in which Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, Packers players and others took shots at Anthony Barr, he finally had his say. The Vikings linebacker, whose first-quarter hit last Sunday broke star quarterback Aaron Rodgers' collarbone, was himself knocked out of that game with a second-quarter concussion. Because he was in the NFL's concussion protocol, he wasn't allowed to talk to the media until Friday, Oct. 20.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A day after Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford didn't even last a half in his return from a left knee injury, an MRI on Tuesday, Oct. 10, showed no additional damage. Athletic trainer Eric Sugarman revealed that to reporters at Winter Park and said Bradford has "wear and tear in his knee joint.'' It's the first time the Vikings have provided specifics on Bradford's injury since he was hurt Sept. 11 against New Orleans and missed three games.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Don't expect to see quarterback Sam Bradford in promos for the Minnesota Vikings' game at Chicago on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Bradford, who has missed the past three games with a knee injury, returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis, his first workout in two weeks. But ESPN analyst Jon Gruden doesn't believe Bradford will take the field against the Bears.
MINNEAPOLIS — During Mike Zimmer's four seasons as Vikings coach, the defense mostly has carried the offense. That might be changing. After three games, the Vikings rank second in the NFL in total offense with an average of 400.3 yards. That comes after three seasons under Zimmer in which they were among the league's worst offenses, ranking 27th in 2014, 29th in 2015 and 28th in 2016.
MINNEAPOLIS — The last time a Vikings quarterback was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the season went pretty well. That was in 2009, when Brett Favre won the award twice, and the Vikings made it to the NFC championship game. Sam Bradford picked up the honor Wednesday, Sept. 13, for his lights-out performance in Monday night's 29-19 season-opening victory over New Orleans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and a career-high passer rating of 143.0.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Vikings on Monday, Sept. 11, reached an injury settlement with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, likely ending his time this season with the team. Heinicke, recovering from a mild concussion and a strained right oblique muscle, was released off injured reserve. While the Vikings have moved on by signing quarterback Kyle Sloter to the practice squad, there still exists a chance Heinicke could return to the team this season if there are unforeseen circumstances.
MINNEAPOLIS—Before their Monday, Sept. 11, season opener against the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings will show a video with highlights of Randy Moss' career. There will be plenty of clips of the Ring of Honor inductee hauling in long passes. Fans then will see if the 2017 Vikings can come up with any such plays of their own. At the start of training camp, quarterback Sam Bradford said the Vikings needed more "explosive plays," including getting "the ball downfield a little more."
MINNEAPOLIS—In previous years, the Vikings often have elected their captains by a vote of players. This season, the choice was made by head coach Mike Zimmer. Selected as captains by Zimmer were quarterback Sam Bradford, tight end Kyle Rudolph, tackle Riley Reiff, defensive ends Everson Griffen and Brian Robison and cornerback Terence Newman. That's three on offense and three on defense. Rudolph, Griffen and Robison are holdover captains from last season.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings spent Sunday looking to beef up their passing game. They might have helped it for now by claiming tight end Blake Bell off waivers from San Francisco. They might have helped it for the future by agreeing to a practice-squad deal with quarterback Kyle Sloter that will pay him $20,000 a week, nearly triple the minimum salary.