Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Mike Zimmer made sure there won't be a Vikings quarterback controversy anytime soon. In his season-ending news conference Tuesday, the head coach not surprisingly declared Sam Bradford his starter. Acquired from Philadelphia after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final preseason practice, Bradford set an NFL record with a completion percentage of 71.6.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings at least closed out a season that was a big disappointment with a big win. Minnesota defeated Chicago 38-10 on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium to finish 8-8 and avoid a fifth losing season this decade. The game was disrupted early in the second quarter when two individuals unfurled a protest banner from a large beam attached to the stadium roof that read "U.S. Bank Divest #NoDAPL." That was in reference to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
MINNEAPOLIS — At the end of the day on Oct. 9, the Vikings were the NFL's only remaining undefeated team. Minnesota, armed with a dominant defense, overwhelmed Houston 31-13 that afternoon and was riding high with a 5-0 record heading into a bye week. Looking back, though, it is evident that danger was on the horizon.
MINNEAPOLIS — Sunday could mark the end of an era. For a decade, the Vikings have had running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway and defensive end Brian Robison as key contributors. It's possible none will remain with the team following the season finale against Chicago at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Rookies stepped up big time for the Vikings last season. Stefon Diggs led the team in receiving and Eric Kendricks in tackles. Danielle Hunter was second in sacks. This year's rookie class has spent the bulk of the season on the bench. One big difference between Minnesota's NFC North title team in 2015 and this year's 7-8 squad has been the production of rookies.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The collapse is complete. The Vikings on Saturday assured they will be the sixth team since 1990 to start a season 5-0 and not make the playoffs. They were eliminated with a 38-25 loss to Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Minnesota (7-8) will finish the season with a meaningless game Jan. 1 against Chicago at U.S. Bank Stadium. Once again, it was Minnesota's once-vaunted defense falling apart. The Vikings last week allowed 277 yards in the first half and fell behind the Indianapolis Colts before losing 34-6.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings are desperate for a win. Does that mean coach Mike Zimmer might reach back into his bag of tricks? “You’ll find out Saturday, I guess,’’ wide receiver Adam Thielen said. Back in January, the Vikings clinched their first division title since 2009 with a 20-13 victory over the Packers in Green Bay. An early, 41-yard run on a fake punt by Thielen set the tone, loosening up a Vikings team that hadn’t won at Lambeau Field since that ‘09 season.
MINNEAPOLIS — When the Vikings signed him to a four-year, $14.8 million contract extension in September 2015, Jarius Wright expected to be a long-term contributor in Minnesota. Now, he isn't sure what to think. After catching 42 passes in 2014, and 34 in 2015, Wright has barely played this season — six receptions for 43 yards entering Saturday's game at Green Bay. "It's very surprising," he said Thursday. Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson have earned more playing time this season, leading to few opportunities for Wright.
MINNEAPOLIS — Could last Sunday have marked Adrian Peterson's final game with the Vikings? The running back on made that question worth pondering Wednesday when he didn't practice and said he was uncertain about playing Saturday at Green Bay. He returned from a knee injury on Sunday, running six times for 22 yards in a 34-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.-- Two days after being knocked out of a game by a penalized hit, Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen returned to practice. Thielen, a Detroit Lakes High School graduate and former Minnesota State University-Mankato receiver, was lost to a neck injury early in the third quarter of Sunday's game. He was belted by cornerback Darius Butler, who was assessed an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting a defenseless player. Thielen said before Tuesday's workout he expects to play Saturday at Green Bay.