Access Vikings

Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Chad Greenway grieves father's death, injures knee in Vikings loss

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated December 21st at 5:36pm 286511421

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway decided to suit up in the 37-35 loss to the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday, two days after his father passed away, but he couldn’t finish the game.

Greenway missed most of the second half to a knee injury. He said he heard a pop in his knee as it was bent backwards. Greenway finished with three tackles and ½ a sack.

“That’s not what I had in mind flying to Miami and playing this football game,” Greenway said. “It just makes matters worse.”

Greenway was excused from Friday’s practice to be with his father, Alan, in South Dakota before he died that night. He had been batting with leukemia.

“It’s a tough week obviously for my family,” Greenway said. “It just came down on trying to make a decision on what’s the right thing to do. I talked with my family and everybody thought they’d be good handling the stuff back home if I came and played the game then met up with them when I got home and took care of business. It was a tough decision but the right decision.”

Greenway said it was a temporary distraction, but he’s looking forward to returning home to be with his family. He was very appreciative of the Vikings organization for allowing him to be with his family during the difficult situation.

“It’s really a blessing to be around the team and the guys,” Greenway said. “Really the whole organization is real supportive of my family, myself and they always have been from Day 1 when my dad got ill. It’s been such a blessing to be with this organization. They’ve been there for me every step of the way and continue to be there now. It’s all about us and the time we needed.”

Craig postgame: Quick reaction to Dolphins 37, Vikings 35

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated December 21st at 4:56pm 286509981

Initial thoughts following Sunday’s 37-35 loss at Miami …

Like last week’s low-scoring two-point loss at Detroit, there were a lot of good things to come out of this high-scoring two-point loss to the Dolphins. But there also were some more alarming things, particularly in the second half.

First, the good.

Teddy Bridgewater played an outstanding game on the road and continues to prove this level isn’t too big for him. He completed 19 of 26 passes 259 yards, two touchdowns, an interception that wasn’t his fault and a 114.1 passer rating. On third downs, he was 6 of 7 for 97 yards, a touchdown and three first downs.

He made some difficult throws on corner routes outside the numbers. The 24-yarder to Greg Jennings on third-and-long was especially impressive.

Now, the more alarming part.

The Dolphins’ offense touched the ball four times in the second half. It scored four touchdowns. Three of the drives were 80-yarders. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn had a particularly bad game, giving up two catches of 40 and 41 yards.

This was the worst the defense has played under Zimmer. A 30-point second half with 28 coming against the defense was unacceptable, of course.

As for the special teams, they tooketh away (recovering a fumble off a kickoff at the Dolphins’ 5-yard line) and gaveth away (a blocked punt out of the end zone for a game-winning safety) in the final five minutes.

At 6-9, the Vikings will have a losing season for the fourth time in five years. But perhaps the best news about this season is they have the quarterback to build around.

Halftime: Vikings 17, Dolphins 7

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated December 21st at 1:43pm 286502691

The Vikings lead 17-7 at halftime over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Kicker Blair Walsh made an 18-yard field goal with two seconds left in the first half to give the Vikings a two-score lead.

The Good: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater connected with wide receiver Greg Jennings once again for a 21-yard touchdown. Jennings ran a good route to gain separation from cornerback Brent Grimes, and the rookie quarterback had perfect placement on the pass.

It’s Jennings’ fifth touchdown this season and fourth in the last five games. He had just four touchdowns last season as the Vikings rotated through quarterbacks Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.

It’s Jennings’ only catch in the game, however. Bridgewater went 7 of 11 for 118 yards and a touchdown.

The Bad: The Vikings had a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. If this situation doesn’t sound familiar, it should. They had the same lead last week against the Lions and lost 16-14.

The Dolphins responded to Jennings’ touchdown with a 12-play, 92-yard drive that lasted 6:41 and ended with a 14-yard touchdown catch by tight end Dion Sims.

Running back Lamar Miller has carried the Dolphins offense with 104 total yards on 11 carries and four receptions.

The Vikings did a good job of scoring a field goal right before halftime, however, to extend their lead.

The Ugly: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had the biggest blunder of the first half when safety Harrison Smith intercepted his screen pass attempt. Smith blitzed off the right edge, the same side of the Dolphins’ screen play. Tannehill was hurried by Smith, who jumped up to bat the pass and ended up making the catch.

Smith has five interceptions this season. He could’ve had another interception in the first half, but Smith dropped a pass thrown right at him. Tannehill is 16 of 24 for 160 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Vikings' Kyle Rudolph out; David Yankey active vs. Dolphins

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated December 21st at 11:27am 286497431

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph will be out with an ankle/knee injury against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday.

Rudolph has been active just eight times through 15 games. He recovered from sports hernia surgery in November, but Rudolph hasn’t looked the same since he returned. Rhett Ellison will start for Rudolph.

Safety Robert Blanton is active, but he will not start. He was listed as questionable on Friday with an ankle/knee injury. Andrew Sendejo will receive his second straight start at strong safety. Sendejo had a solid game last week against the Lions.

Rookie guard David Yankey will be active for the first time this season. Up until this game, Yankey was the only drafted rookie not to suit up. The Vikings have spent the entire season developing the Stanford product in what would be similar to a “redshirt” season in college.

Here’s the complete inactive list for both the Vikings and Dolphins:

S Ahmad Dixon
CB Shaun Prater
FB Zach Line
LB Anthony Barr
OT Carter Bykowski
OG Charlie Johnson
TE Kyle Rudolph

RB Rishard Matthews
RB Daniel Thomas
S Don Jones
LB Chris McCain
OG Dallas Thomas
OG Nate Garner
WR Matt Hazel

Greenway expected to play after death of his father

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated December 21st at 10:20am 286496651

Vikings outside linebacker Chad Greenway is expected to play against the Dolphins today, two days after his father, Alan, lost his battle with leukemia.

Greenway was excused from practice Friday to travel back to South Dakota to see his father. His father passed away later that night.

Greenway is with the team here in Miami, and all indications are that he will play.

The nine-year veteran is second on the team with 91 tackles despite missing three games earlier this season due to broken ribs.


Minnesota 17 3rd Qtr
Miami 7
Baltimore 0 3rd Qtr
Houston 16
Detroit 7 3rd Qtr 13:11
Chicago 7
Cleveland 3 3rd Qtr 13:33
Carolina 10
Atlanta 13 3rd Qtr 14:02
New Orleans 7
Green Bay 10 3rd Qtr 13:05
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 6 3rd Qtr 12:04
Pittsburgh 10
New England 7 3rd Qtr 10:54
NY Jets 10
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Seattle 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 2:30 PM
Memphis 3:30 PM
Boston 5:00 PM
Detroit 5:00 PM
LA Lakers 5:00 PM
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Phoenix 5:00 PM
Indiana 6:00 PM
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 5:00 PM
Dallas 5:00 PM
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 50 2nd Half 7:21
Army 48
Ferris State 68 2nd Half 6:55
Bowling Green 55
San Francisco 57 2nd Half 4:56
Cleveland State 56
Oregon State 50 2nd Half 0:27
Quinnipiac 56
Coastal Carolina 40 2nd Half 13:10
Central Arkansas 34
Holy Cross 18 1st Half 2:34
Canisius 19
Southern Miss 29 2nd Half
Georgia State 38
Western Carolina 23 1st Half 4:52
UNC-Asheville 26
Creighton 16 1st Half 1:27
North Texas 29
Maryland 29 1st Half 2:02
Oklahoma State 22
Cornell 32 1st Half 3:41
Radford 26
Vermont 17 1st Half 2:47
Saint Louis 18
Loyola-Maryland 22 1st Half 2:11
Stony Brook 21
Reinhardt 26 1st Half 3:50
Winthrop 36
Ark-Little Rock 29 2nd Half
Green Bay 33
TX-Pan American 30 1st Half 3:09
Nebraska Omaha 35
Alabama State 33 1st Half 3:51
Evansville 38
FIU 13 1st Half 11:27
Hartford 21
Goshen 0 1st Half 15:11
Valparaiso 17
Bryant 2:00 PM
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 2:00 PM
ULM 2:00 PM
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Troy 3:30 PM
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Fairleigh Dickinson 63 2nd Half 0:24
Brown 66
Buffalo 60 2nd Half 5:31
Long Island 64
Bucknell 64 2nd Half 3:54
Mount St Marys 44
Stony Brook 65 2nd Half 1:31
Wagner 73
FIU 72 2nd Half 3:28
Wofford 63
Duquesne 35 2nd Half 5:51
Providence 52
Maine 54 2nd Half 0:02
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 38 2nd Half 2:46
Samford 49
TX-Pan American 38 2nd Half 3:40
VA Commonwealth 59
South Dakota St 62 2nd Half 0:31
Marist 79
Radford 49 2nd Half 4:24
Virginia Tech 57
(3) Texas 34 2nd Half 17:12
(4) Texas A&M 41
Rhode Island 42 2nd Half 12:53
Bryant 38
South Florida 25 1st Half 5:07
Penn State 22
Sam Houston St 25 1st Half 1:51
TCU 34
Evansville 17 1st Half 3:12
(14) Maryland 53 1st Half 1:58
Coppin State 20
Mercer 30 2nd Half
Coll of Charleston 34
NC A&T 10 1st Half 7:13
Chattanooga 21
Princeton 38 1st Half 2:32
Monmouth 20
Eastern Illinois 37 2nd Half
Lehigh 41
Rider 31 1st Half 0:44
Binghamton 30
SC State 13 1st Half 2:23
Clemson 24
Fairfield 27 1st Half 2:45
Iowa State 36
Richmond 42 2nd Half
Eastern Kentucky 26
Cleveland State 42 2nd Half
Morehead St 34
Kent State 29 1st Half 1:07
Colgate 25
South Alabama 9 2nd Half
UAB 46
Saint Peters 13 1st Half 1:02
Navy 35
Youngstown St 21 2nd Half
Pittsburgh 38
NJIT 23 1st Half 3:51
Lafayette 21
Davidson 10 1st Half 1:41
Charlotte 39
Indiana State 4 1st Half 17:16
St Johns 6
Southern U 5 1st Half 15:59
Florida 6
Wright State 6 1st Half 12:06
Purdue 12
(19) Oklahoma St 2:00 PM
Houston 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Ark-Little Rock 2:00 PM
Dayton 2:00 PM
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Dakota 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Western Ill 2:00 PM
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Ball State 2:00 PM
Western Ky
(8) Kentucky 2:00 PM
(13) Duke
New Orleans 2:00 PM
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
Colorado State
No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Albany 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Oklahoma 3:00 PM
Idaho State 3:00 PM
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
TX-Arlington 3:30 PM
North Texas
Fresno State 4:00 PM
St Francis-PA 4:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion


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