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.


Asiata on injury report with concussion; McKinnon also misses practice

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated November 19th at 3:49pm 283250091

Eleven players are on the Vikings’ first injury report of the week. The biggest surprise was running back Matt Asiata, who didn’t participate in practice because of a concussion. He would have to pass the league concussion protocol in order to return. If he doesn’t, the Vikings would lean even more on Ben Tate, the former Browns and Texans running back who was claimed off waivers and awarded to the Vikings today.

Tate might even garner a prominent role on Sunday  because running back Jerick McKinnon also didn’t practice because of a lower back issue that has bothered him since last week.

Also missing practice entirely were: WR Jarius Wright (hamstring), WR Greg Jennings (rib) and OT Mike Harris (ankle).

Limited in practice were LB Anthony Barr (knee), DT Sharrif Floyd (knee), CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle) and DE Everson Griffen (neck).

On the injury report with full practice participation were TE Kyle Rudolph, who is heading into his second game back after hernia surgery, and DE Scott Crichton (hip).

Jennings, Wright, McKinnon, Asiata, Harris not participating at start of practice

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated November 19th at 1:29pm 283230671

Vikings practice has begun and the media folks have just been booted from the building.

There but not practicing are receivers Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright, and running back Jerick McKinnon.

Not there and therefore not practicing so far are running back Matt Asiata and backup offensive tackle Mike Harris.

The team will issue its official injury report after practice.

Xavier Rhodes hopes first interception one of many

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated November 19th at 12:38pm 283224391

Interceptions come in bunches, a common phrase Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes has heard this week.

“That’s what I was told,” said Rhodes with a chuckle.

That’s due to Rhodes finally obtaining his first career interception on Sunday against the Bears. He made a nice diving catch on an underthrown pass from Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the final seconds of the first half.

Rhodes still has the ball in his possession and planned to display it in a special place in his house. It took Rhodes 23 games to snag an interception, and he’s had a few missed opportunities this season at forcing turnovers, but the second-year cornerback was relieved that it finally happened.

“With the great quarterbacks we have in the league, it’s tough to get that,” Rhodes said. “It felt good to get that.”

The challenge to grab another interception will be a lot more difficult on Sunday against the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While Cutler is second in the NFL with 12 interceptions, Rodgers has thrown just three on 313 attempts. He’s having one of the best seasons in his career and has thrown for 656 yards and nine touchdown in his last two games against the Bears and Eagles.

“Aaron Rodgers has always been a great quarterback,” Rhodes said. “He always makes good decisions, gets the ball out fast to his receivers and makes great reads. I’m looking forward to a good game, him making great plays and we just got to make great plays too.”

Zimmer, Bridgewater make it sound like Peterson `distraction' died of old age a while ago

Posted by: Mark Craig Updated November 19th at 12:23pm 283222551

Yes, Adrian Peterson remains the hottest news surrounding the Vikings. But as a distraction within the walls at Winter Park, it sounds like this one died of old age a while ago since Peterson hasn’t played since Week 1.

“Not really much has changed,” coach Mike Zimmer said earlier today when asked for his reaction to Tuesday’s news that Peterson had been suspended by the league for the rest of the season for injuries he caused his 4-year-old son when he chose to use a wooden switch to beat him as a form of discipline.

“I still say exactly what I said before. I support him and his family. He was great with me. But other than that, our focus is on Green Bay and we got to move forward. That’s just the way life is.”

Asked if he had held out hope that Peterson would return this season, Zimmer said, “We’ve kind of taken this one day at a time as it’s gone. So we just go with the cards we’re dealt. I know we made the statement yesterday, so we’ll kind of stick with that mantra.”

Zimmer also sounded like it wasn’t all that difficult for players to stay focused. Except, of course, when reporters are asking about staying focused.

“Inside the locker room, when they watch the Packers and they watch the things they do offensively and defensively and returning punts and scoring on defense and things like that, they get your attention pretty quick,” Zimmer said. “This team has been through a lot of things this year. I think for the most part they’ve stayed focused very well. So I think that we just keep pounding the message about what we’re trying to do here and trying to accomplish as the kind of football team and organization. The overriding message just keeps going on and on.”

Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had little to say when asked for his reaction.

“Adrian is a great guy,” Bridgewater said. “We just have to continue to play without him. We would love to have him, but that’s out of our hands.”

Asked if he’d be ready to become the person that reporters like to call (pause for dramatic effect) “The FACE of the franchise,” Bridgewater didn’t try to hide.

“I can tell you that I’ll embrace the role,” he said. “We have a group of guys here who have established themselves in the league. I know that for me it’s not all about me. We have 52 other guys active on this roster and also the practice squad guys who contribute to our success as a team. I’ll embrace the role, but I know it’s not all about me.

“We have other playmakers on this team. Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings, Jerick McKinnon. And you talk about the defensive side of the ball with Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Chad Greenway and those guys. This entire team plays a role in our success.”

It’s possible that Bridgewater has played his last game with Peterson. How will he be remembered?

“Adrian was a great mentor to me throughout OTAs and training camp,” Bridgewater said. ” There were times in training camp when I would get down on myself because I may have had a bad practice or didn’t like this throw or that throw. He would always come up to me and say, hey, you’re not going to be perfect. You can’t control what everybody is saying about you. You can’t control every throw. You have to trust yourself and play football. Hearing that from Adrian, that meant a lot because he’s established himself in this league and is one of the great, best running backs to play this game.”

Zimmer was told that Bridgewater says he’s cool with the whole face of the franchise thing.

“I’ll be glad to let him do it instead of me,” Zimmer joked. “He will be ready. It’s hard for a young guy when you first come in and start playing in the middle of the year. But I believe he will be the face of the franchise and he can do all of these press conferences from now on. I would be ecstatic to let him do them.”

Access Vikings morning walkthrough: All the Peterson news fit to blog

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated November 19th at 12:05pm 283213721

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


— The NFL suspended RB Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season.

— Peterson’s legacy will continue to take a hit with this suspension.

— Peterson’s suspension shows the NFL is taking a tougher stand.

— FB Jerome Felton came out swinging in defense of Peterson.

— Other Vikings balanced their concern for Peterson and his son.


— The Packers are hoping for some cold playoff games at Lambeau Field.

— Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is using a new routine to stay healthy.

— The Packers are breaking their defensive mold with OLB Clay Matthews.

— The Green Bay offensive line is starting to get some credit for its play.


The national media circus is sure to be back at Winter Park today after Peterson’s suspension was announced yesterday. Coach Mike Zimmer and QB Teddy Bridgewater will be on the podium and the locker room will be open, and likely crammed with cameras, before the 12:50 p.m. practice.


Peterson wants to break Emmitt Smith’s career rushing record of 18,355 yards. But Peterson, likely sidelined now until after his 30th birthday, has just 10,190 career yards. He is 28th all-time in rushing and third among active players. Catching Smith seems like a longshot now, and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to catch Frank Gore, who has 10,615 yards and is still going strong at 31.


Kansas City 7:25 PM
NY Jets 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 11/23/14 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/23/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis 11/23/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 11/23/14 3:25 PM
Washington 11/23/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 11/23/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Chicago 9:30 PM
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
St. Louis 6:30 PM
Nashville 6:30 PM
Detroit 7:00 PM
Arizona 7:30 PM
Washington 8:00 PM
Chicago 8:00 PM
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Carolina 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Florida 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas A&M 53 FINAL
Dayton 55
Akron 66
Coll of Charleston 57 FINAL
Connecticut 65
Drexel 46 FINAL
Miami-Florida 66
New Mexico 65 FINAL
Boston College 69
Penn State 71 2nd Half 1:36
Charlotte 75
Detroit 36 2nd Half 12:11
Michigan 43
Eckerd 8 1st Half 13:31
UCF 20
VU of Lynchburg 2 1st Half 15:09
East Carolina 9
Texas 9 1st Half 13:46
Iowa 13
Jacksonville 5 1st Half 15:33
NC State 5
Navy 6 1st Half 11:47
Providence 18
Grambling St 3 1st Half 15:32
Purdue 12
UMass Lowell 22 1st Half 11:07
Sacred Heart 15
Keystone 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Niagara 9 1st Half 11:51
Saint Peters 8
Palm Beach Atlantic 6 1st Half 12:41
Stetson 26
Texas Southern 11 1st Half 15:15
Tennessee 5
MD-Eastern Shore 8 1st Half 13:41
VA Commonwealth 25
SUNY-Westbury 4 1st Half 15:07
Wagner 13
Bluefield (VA) 3 1st Half 13:34
William & Mary 12
Bob Jones Univ 12 1st Half 13:25
USC Upstate 21
New Hampshire 0 1st Half 14:52
Bryant 12
Fordham 6:30 PM
Howard 6:30 PM
Cornell 6:30 PM
South Carolina
Champions Bapt 6:30 PM
UT Martin
George Mason 6:30 PM
West Virginia
South Florida 7:00 PM
UC Davis 7:00 PM
Eastern Ill
Fla Atlantic 7:00 PM
SMU 7:00 PM
Franklin Pierce 7:00 PM
Southern U 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Brescia 7:00 PM
Murray State
North Florida 7:00 PM
Winthrop 7:00 PM
Savannah State
Fisk 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
Bucknell 7:00 PM
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Morgan State 7:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Southern Miss 8:00 PM
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Arizona State
Syracuse 8:00 PM
Idaho 8:00 PM
Northern Ill
Lipscomb 8:00 PM
Texas-Arlington 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Pacific Union 9:00 PM
Denver 9:00 PM
St Marys-CA
CS-Bakersfield 9:30 PM
San Diego St
Nicholls 10:00 PM
Bowling Green 20 FINAL
Toledo 27
Kent State 0 Postponed
Buffalo 0
(12) Kansas State 0 1st Qtr 11:05
West Virginia 0
North Carolina 6:30 PM
(25) Duke
Arkansas State 8:30 PM
Texas State
Kent State 11/21/14 12:00 PM
Texas-El Paso 11/21/14 7:00 PM
Air Force 11/21/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
San Jose St 11/21/14 8:30 PM
Utah State
Char Southern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
South Alabama 11/22/14 11:00 AM
So Carolina
Rutgers 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(10) Michigan State
Minnesota 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(21) Nebraska
Northwestern 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Kansas 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(23) Oklahoma
Indiana 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Penn State 11/22/14 11:00 AM
(14) Eastern Ky 11/22/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
SMU 11/22/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech 11/22/14 11:30 AM
Wake Forest
Washington St 11/22/14 12:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Louisiana Tech 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Old Dominion
Western Mich 11/22/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich
New Mexico 11/22/14 12:30 PM
(22) Colorado State
Eastern Mich 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Appalachian St 11/22/14 1:00 PM
Tulsa 11/22/14 2:00 PM
(15) Arizona 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(20) Utah
FIU 11/22/14 2:30 PM
North Texas
(8) Ole Miss 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Louisville 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Notre Dame
Maryland 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Iowa State
(14) Wisconsin 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Syracuse 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Boston College 11/22/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Georgia State 11/22/14 2:30 PM
Tulane 11/22/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Stanford 11/22/14 3:00 PM
Western Carolina 11/22/14 3:00 PM
(2) Alabama
ULM 11/22/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
So Florida 11/22/14 3:00 PM
Colorado 11/22/14 3:30 PM
(3) Oregon
Fla Atlantic 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Samford 11/22/14 6:00 PM
(16) Auburn
Miami-Florida 11/22/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(4) Miss State
(19) Missouri 11/22/14 6:30 PM
Oklahoma State 11/22/14 6:30 PM
(6) Baylor
(24) USC 11/22/14 7:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Cincinnati 11/22/14 7:00 PM
Boise State 11/22/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
Fresno State 11/22/14 9:30 PM
UNLV 11/22/14 10:00 PM
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Montreal 11/23/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 11/23/14 3:30 PM
Webber International 41 FINAL
Florida A&M 52
San Jose St 80 FINAL
UC-Riverside 100
Norfolk State 65 FINAL
Radford 74
Washington Adventist 21 2nd Half 11:54
Morgan State 50
Alabama State 40 2nd Half 15:48
Savannah State 47
VA Commonwealth 51 2nd Half 15:19
MD-Eastern Shore 25
Southern U 41 2nd Half 17:35
Ole Miss 45
Monmouth 13 1st Half 12:10
Long Island 9
Bethune-Cookman 2 1st Half 15:46
Jacksonville 8
St Thomas (TX) 10 1st Half 11:35
Incarnate Word 8
Boston U 2 1st Half 15:50
Boston College 12
Clemson 4 1st Half 14:48
(2) South Carolina 9
(7) Duke 15 1st Half 15:10
Old Dominion 8
Belmont 10 1st Half 14:44
(12) Louisville 9
Fla Gulf Coast 5 1st Half 13:40
Auburn 7
Florida 10 1st Half 11:57
St Johns 16
James Madison 6:00 PM
American Univ
Philander Smith 6:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Tougaloo 6:00 PM
Virginia 15 1st Half 11:50
Xavier 10
Murray State 10 1st Half 14:38
Wright State 13
Providence 4 1st Half 15:13
Hartford 7
Holy Cross 9 1st Half 10:13
Dartmouth 15
Valparaiso 12 1st Half 13:22
Northern Ill 5
Detroit 12 1st Half 13:29
Ohio U 8
St Bonaventure 4 1st Half 13:07
Toledo 0
Mary Washington 7 1st Half 13:13
Navy 9
Michigan 11 1st Half 10:23
Pittsburgh 22
Davidson 12 1st Half 13:35
Gardner-Webb 11
Longwood 6 1st Half 14:00
Richmond 8
USC Upstate 4 1st Half 15:47
UNC Greensboro 15
(17) West Virginia 7:00 PM
Miss State
Concordia-Austin 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Western Ill 7:00 PM
Chicago State
Albany 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Drake 7:00 PM
Memphis 7:00 PM
Arkansas 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
LSU-Alexandria 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
Utah 7:05 PM
Weber State 8:00 PM
Air Force
(10) Texas 8:00 PM
(6) Stanford
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Utah State
New Mexico St 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
South Dakota 9:00 PM
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara


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