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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

Peterson misses practice again, but is expected to be in Kansas City

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 21st at 2:36pm 272195491

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson missed practice for a second straight day as he deals with a personal matter, but the expectation is that he will be at Saturday night’s game in Kansas City.

That doesn’t mean Peterson will play against the Chiefs, though. Head coach Mike Zimmer said the other day he doesn’t feel the need to see Peterson in the preseason, so we probably won’t see him.

Also missing today’s muggy morning practice or watching from the side were nose tackle Linval Joseph (calf), cornerback Jabari Price (arm/shoulder), and linebackers Brandon Watts (lower leg) and Gerald Hodges (knee). None of those four players are expected to suit up against the Chiefs.

Outside linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist) did, as promised, practice fully today after being held out of team drills yesterday. And he delivered the highlight of an uneventful practice when he kicked the football into the woods after dropping a would-be interception near the goal zone. It was a pretty impressive punt, but consider Zimmer unimpressed. Zimmer told the veteran to not do that again, and moments later, Greenway emerged from the trees carrying not one, but two footballs.

Priefer keeps focus on football when asked about Kluwe settlement

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated August 21st at 2:12pm 272193811

Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer didn’t say as much, but it doesn’t take a body language expert to deduce that he’s ready for the Chris Kluwe questions to disappear.

Priefer met with reporters after today’s practice. This week’s settlement of Kluwe’s lawsuit against the Vikings was brought up when Priefer was asked for his opinion on the terms of the settlement and whether he was relieved to have the lawsuit behind him.

“You know,” he started, “I’m really excited about playing the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ve been focused on them all week. It’s something that I really haven’t given it much thought. The bottom line is we got a game to play and a season to prepare for.”

Priefer was suspended for the first three games of the regular season because of an anti-gay comment he made to Kluwe, the team’s former punter, in a team setting in 2012. He can reduce the suspension to two games by completing sensitivity training.

Thoughts on interim special teams coordinator Joe Marciano:

Priefer said things are going very well Marciano, who will be the team’s interim special teams coordinator during Priefer’s suspension.

“He’s a very knowledgeable coach,” Priefer said. “He’s been successful. He’s been in this league a long time. We’re trading ideas as we’ve been game-planning those first two ballgames, first three ballgames, actually. We just haven’t gotten as far as [Week 3 against] New Orleans yet because it’s a lot of work. But we’re getting there.

“Unfortunately, I have to leave the building for a few weeks, but we’re going to leave the guys in good hands.”

Walsh was 47 of 50 in practice:

Priefer said he’s not worried about kicker Blair Walsh, who is 0 for 2 from 50 yards and beyond during the preseason. Walsh also missed a 33-yard PAT in the closing seconds of last week’s win over the Cardinals.

“”He’s had a really good training camp,” Priefer said. “Going into that game the other night, he was 47 of 50 in team period. Obviously, that doesn’t mean a whole lot when you miss a couple of field goals. But he’s striking the ball well. He’s hitting the ball well. We’re working on a little bit of the follow through. We’ll tweak that and I think he’ll be just fine.”

Priefer said weather wasn’t a factor in any of Walsh’s preseason misses.

Hoping for Patterson kick returns

Cordarrelle Patterson has just started returning kicks in practice this week. The Vikings haven’t used him in the first two preseason games because his health is too valuable to risk over the course of a month’s worth of preseason games.

But Priefer said he’s hoping coach Mike Zimmer chooses to use Patterson for at least one or two returns on Saturday at Kansas City.

“I don’t think I need to see anything from [Patterson], but it’s one of those things that if you only do it in practice, the tempo isn’t the same, the timing isn’t the same,” Priefer said. “A lot of our returns are based off of timing, so getting him out there for a rep or two will help him get ready for St. Louis” in the regular season opener.

Matt Cassel: 'I'm excited to go back to Kansas City'

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 21st at 3:42pm 272193721

For the first time since he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, Vikings top quarterback Matt Cassel will return to the city where he experienced probably the highest and lowest points of his NFL career, along with a bunch of personal memories Cassel will always cherish.

After Cassel’s breakout 2008 season in New England following a season-ending knee injury to Tom Brady, the Chiefs acquired him in 2009 and paid him big bucks to be their starter. A season later, the Chiefs won their division as Cassel had his only Pro Bowl season, tossing a career-high 27 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions.

But the honeymoon didn’t last for much longer after that, and things got so bad for Cassel during his turnover-plagued 2012 season that some fans at Arrowhead Stadium cheered when Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata knocked him out of an ugly game that the Ravens won, 9-6.

Still, despite that, Cassel said all the right things today about returning to Arrowhead Stadium.

“I’m excited to go back to Kansas City,” he said. “I haven’t been back since I left a few years ago. I’ve got a lot of close family friends there. We enjoyed our time there. My three children were born there. So I’ve got a lot of good memories in Kansas City, so it will be fun to go back and play.”

Cassel said he has “no ill will” towards the organization, and he said he is excited to catch up with the many familiar faces who were kind to him during his four years with the Chiefs.

“I’ve moved on. They’ve moved on. And it will be exciting to get out there and play against a good football team with a good defense as well,” said Cassel, who still owns a home in the K.C. area.

As for the quarterback competition that he is leading, Cassel said the coaches haven’t told him when a decision will be made, so he is only worried about playing well Saturday against the Chiefs.

“At this point, it’s just going to be one of those things where we just wait and see,” Cassel said. “Coach will make that ultimate decision. At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to prepare and do what I need to do to get ready for the season. And then when the time comes and coach tells us, then that’s what we’ll have to deal with.”

Access Vikings morning walkthrough: Greenway's wrist, Tingelhoff closer to the Hall and more

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 21st at 9:27am 272131091

Every weekday, our Vikings reporters walk you through what’s happening with the team that day.

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— OLB Chad Greenway was limited in practice due to a wrist injury.

— S Kurt Coleman almost quit football after paralyzing a teammate in college.

— Former Vikings C Mick Tingelhoff is a step closer to the Hall of Fame.

— Mike Zimmer is no cookie-cutter first-year head coach.

— The plan is for Greenway to wear the green dot on defense this season.

TWEET OF THE (YESTER)DAY

AROUND THE NFC NORTH

— Lions DT Nick Fairley says he wants to stay in Detroit.

— The Packers are trying to figure out who their backup QB will be.

— The Bears are trying to figure out who their backup QB will be.

TODAY’S VIKINGS SCHEDULE

The Vikings have an early practice today, as they take the field at 10:50 a.m. Afterward, defensive coordinator George Edwards and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will meet with the media. So will quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who was here from 2006-2010, now works for the Kansas City Chiefs. His official position is Special Project Manager, whatever the heck that means.

Greenway watches practice, giving Mauti an opportunity with the first-team defense

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 21st at 7:17am 272056261

Veteran linebacker Chad Greenway, who is dealing with a wrist injury that head coach Mike Zimmer downplayed this morning, was dressed for practice today. But after participating in some of the individual drills at the start of the practice, Greenway spent the rest of the afternoon on the sideline.

Afterward, Greenway, who had a black brace on his right wrist, said he expects to practice tomorrow.

“It’s feeling pretty good and hopefully we’ll be able to push forward,” Greenway said.

Still, the injury is worth monitoring because it is the same wrist that Greenway fractured a season ago, when he played all 16 games despite the injury. Greenway did not have surgery on it after the season, instead going the rest-and-rehab route.

Greenway playfully joked that Zimmer was overreacting a little bit by holding him out today.

“I think he just thinks I’m getting old maybe,” Greenway said. “Obviously, when I had the issue with it last year it makes it a little more [noteworthy], wanting to take care of it. I know what it was like to go through the entire season with it last year and I don’t want to go through that again. I think we did a good job of figuring it all out and getting it taken care of.”

And no, if you’re wondering, Greenway did not tweak his wrist pouring ice water on Mark Craig yesterday. He laughed when I asked him if that’s what did it.

With Greenway and rookie Brandon Watts, who has a lower leg injury, watching from the sideline, second-year player Michael Mauti got an opportunity as the weak-side linebacker for the first-team defense. Hopefully for his sake, Mauti, who is firmly on the roster bubble, made a good impression.

Beyond Greenway, also missing from today’s practice were running back Adrian Peterson (personal matter), linebacker Gerald Hodges (knee), nose tackle Linval Joseph (calf), cornerback Jabari Price (arm/shoulder), and tight end Chase Ford (foot). Rookie wide receiver Kain Colter briefly left practice with one of the athletic trainers, but returned with his right hand taped up.

Making his practice debut was new linebacker Justin Jackson. The rookie was wearing No. 45.

Robert Blanton, Chris Crocker and Kurt Coleman split the first-team reps next to Harrison Smith.

Christian Ponder had a busy practice running the scout team as the Vikings prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs. Ponder saw a lot of action with some of the other third-stringers against the starters and second-string defense. Smith didn’t make it easy for Ponder, picking off one of his deep throws over the middle and getting his hands on a couple other passes that could have been picked off.

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 0 Bottom 4th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Cleveland 0 Top 4th Inning
Minnesota 0
Detroit 0 Top 4th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Arizona - W. Miley 3:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 Suspended
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
Indiana
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much money do you plan to spend per person at the State Fair?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT