Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings receiver Jarius Wright has some advice for fans expecting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to reclaim his starting job any time soon. Slow down. Bridgewater, who hasn't played since suffering a torn ACL in August 2016, is expected to be moved from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to the 53-man roster by the Wednesday, Nov. 8, deadline.
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.
LONDON — So much for the sleep specialists the Vikings brought in to provide advice. Wide receiver Jarius Wright had been looking forward to going to London. But after Sunday's 33-16 win over Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium, he admitted it didn't quite go as well as expected. "It was cool, but I didn't really get to sleep here in London,'' Wright said. "The time (difference of six hours) really messed me up. It messed me up big time.''
LONDON — Darrin Nelson has a poster that announced the game at his home in Southern California, a reminder of the day the Vikings faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the first NFL game in Great Britain. Rufus Bess has a less-obvious reminder of the Aug. 6, 1983, preseason game at Wembley Stadium: a white suit hanging in a closet at his Eden Prairie home. He bought it a day after intercepting a pass and returning a punt 76 yards for a touchdown against the Cardinals. He's never worn it.
LONDON — The Vikings have been to London twice this decade. Would they be willing to go again? Vikings owner Mark Wilf said Friday that could be a possibility. "Potentially,'' Wilf said. "We've had a great experience so far here, and we will be supportive of the league's efforts on the International Series wherever we can. So that could mean that.'' In 2013, the Vikings gave up a home game and beat Pittsburgh 34-27 at Wembley Stadium. On Sunday, they will be the road team against Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium.
LONDON — Case Keenum was officially tabbed the Vikings' starting quarterback on Friday, then headed out for afternoon tea. It had been apparent all week that Keenum would start against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Oct. 29, at Twickenham Stadium, but head coach Mike Zimmer waited to make it official — even as starter Sam Bradford missed the entire week of practices because of his left knee injury.
LONDON — Missing two straight games hasn't been much fun for Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, but relief could be on the way. Sidelined by a groin injury, Diggs appears ready to return to the lineup for Sunday's game against Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium. He was a full participant in Thursday's walk-through after the Vikings arrived in London, and said he is scheduled to practice again Friday, Oct. 27. "When I get back in between the lines, I'm excited," Diggs said "I can't wait to get back with my guys no matter when it is. I miss it."
LONDON — In 1547, Syon House was erected under the ownership of the first Duke of Somerset. On Thursday, Oct. 26, the NFL arrived. The Vikings touched down in London on Thursday morning in preparation for Sunday's game against Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium. Four hours later they took to the field for a walk-through in the shadow of a palatial mansion that was "redecorated" under the commission of the first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland in 1762.
MINNEAPOLIS — Case Keenum was bad on and off the field when he went to London last year, throwing four interceptions and bungling the pronunciation of Twickenham Stadium. Keenum likely will start at quarterback for the Vikings against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Oct. 29, at Twickenham. Quarterbacking the Los Angeles Rams at the stadium last October, he was lousy in a 17-10 loss to the New York Giants.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott has an idea how to gauge how much more sophisticated NFL fans have become in London. When McDermott played there in 2013 with the San Francisco 49ers, he remembers fans going wild during what seemingly were routine moments in the game. "Over there, the fans definitely loved all the kicking because they're soccer fans," McDermott said. "There were really big cheers for extra points."