Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings return Monday to Soldier Field, where last season began to implode. On Oct. 31, 2016, the Vikings entered their "Monday Night Football" game with a 5-1 record. Chicago was 1-6 but the Bears dominated, winning 20-10 and sending Minnesota into a tailspin. On the Tuesday after the game, head coach Mike Zimmer had surgery on his right eye, the first of eight that started when he scratched his eye in Chicago. By Wednesday, Norv Turner had resigned as offensive coordinator.
LAS VEGAS — Former Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham opened the door to put his dog outside late Sunday night at his Las Vegas home. He immediately heard sirens blaring. His wife, Felicity, turned on the news and the two saw what was happening at Mandalay Bay Resort, a five-minute drive from their house. "We just started praying, and soon people were calling us from all over the country wanting to known whether everything is OK," Cunningham said in a phone interview Monday night, Oct. 2.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings were braced for bad news and got it Monday, Oct. 1. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is out for the season because of a torn ligament in his left knee. Cook was hurt when he wrenched the knee while making a cut in the third quarter of Sunday's 14-7 loss to Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium. A magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday confirmed that he has a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
MINNEAPOLIS — The unflattering comments by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen about Detroit tackle Greg Robinson have gotten the attention of folks in Thibodaux, La., population 14,000. Griffen this week called Robinson, the most notable athlete to come out of the bayou town, "lazy.'' He will face off against the left tackle Sunday, Oct. 1, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings hall of fame coach Bud Grant is taking a more measured approach on national anthem protests. Grant, a World War II veteran, had his teams line up in a precise formation for the anthem, and even practiced it during training camp. Last year, he called then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "trash" and said he should go to "Mongolia, Bolivia or Bangladesh" because of his decision to sit and then kneel during the anthem.
MINNEAPOLIS — It was typical day during organized-team activities in June 2016, and Vikings guard Mike Harris was battling to keep his starting job. Following a practice, he returned to his home in Eden Prairie, Minn., to study his iPad. Suddenly, everything changed for Harris. "I felt like I was having a stroke," Harris said Tuesday, Sept. 26. "I got home and I just remember being on my iPad and my vision went blurry, went double. I couldn't see."
MINNEAPOLIS — During Mike Zimmer's four seasons as Vikings coach, the defense mostly has carried the offense. That might be changing. After three games, the Vikings rank second in the NFL in total offense with an average of 400.3 yards. That comes after three seasons under Zimmer in which they were among the league's worst offenses, ranking 27th in 2014, 29th in 2015 and 28th in 2016.
MINNEAPOLIS—While Adam Thielen was downplaying the possibility of having a 1,000-yard receiving season, Vikings teammate Laquon Treadwell walked up and offered his take. "He's going to do it,'' Treadwell said. It's early, but Thielen actually is on pace for a 1,600-yard season. He's third in the NFL after two games with 201 yards receiving on 14 catches.
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings receiver Jarius Wright has played 27 snaps in the first two games. That's not a lot, but it's 27 more than he got in last season's first two games. "I'm getting to play, so that keeps me happy," Wright said Friday, Sept. 22. "Whatever (number of snaps), I just want to play. It's better than sitting on the bench or not dressing out."
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford will miss his second consecutive game Sunday, Sept. 24, after traveling to Florida on Friday, Sept. 22, to meet with an orthopedic specialist about his surgically repaired left knee. Case Keenum will start Sunday's game against Tampa Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium. While the Vikings practiced Friday, Bradford traveled to Gulf Breeze, Fla., for a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic specialist who operated on his left knee when Bradford suffered torn ligament injuries in 2013 and 2014 while with the St. Louis Rams.