Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn.—Entering Sunday, Sept. 16, it had been nearly four years since the Vikings had a punt blocked. That changed early in the first quarter of a 29-29 tie at Green Bay. Geronimo Allison blocked Matt Wile's punt and Josh Jackson recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. "I just know right when I was making contact with the ball, it was, 'Huh, well, there's someone there,' '' Wile said Monday, Sept. 17, about what happened. "But after that punt, I just was focused on coming back and hitting good punts for rest of the game.''
EAGAN, Minn. — Because his father was a big fan of Deacon Jones, Sheldon Richardson grew up watching old films of the legendary pass rusher. Jones coined the term "sack," and used such tactics as the head slap on opposing offensive linemen. Richardson, a Vikings defensive tackle, can only imagine what he could accomplish if the NFL allowed him the same leniency as Jones had in the 1960s. "You remember how Deacon Jones used to get sacks and stuff like that?" Richardson said Monday, Sept. 17. "I'm pretty sure it's a way lot different now." It sure is.
The Vikings on Monday planned to waive rookie kicker Daniel Carlson and sign veteran Dan Bailey, sources said. Carlson, a fifth-round pick last April, missed three field goals in Sunday’s 29-29 tie at Green Bay. A source said the Vikings also plan to sign wide receiver Aldrick Robinson. Bailey is the second-most accurate kicker in NFL in NFL history at 88.2 percent, behind only Justin Tucker at 90.3 percent. Bailey kicked for Dallas from 2011-17 before he was released Sept. 1 in a surprise move.
GREEN BAY, Wis.—Kirk Cousins knows all about putting up big yardage and having a game end in a tie. In 2016, Cousins threw for a career-high 458 yards, but his Washington Redskins tied the Cincinnati Bengals 27-27. On Sunday, Sept. 16, the 30-year-old quarterback threw for 425 yards but the Minnesota Vikings tied Green Bay 29-29 at Lambeau Field.
GREEN BAY, Wis.—After Sunday's 29-29 tie with Green Bay, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr wore a T-shirt reading, "The Earth is Flat." So, Barr does really believe it is? "I like to have fun," said Barr, not directly answering the question. "I like to cause a little stir, get people thinking a little bit."
EAGAN, Minn. — During training camp, Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo wore a cap with these words on the front: "Make Football Violent Again." Teammate Sheldon Richardson agrees. The Vikings' 295-pound defensive tackle was miffed at being penalized for roughing the passer in last weekend's 24-16 season-opening victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He said this week that football is "meant to be violent."
MINNEAPOLIS — No teammates have complained to Xavier Rhodes about his player rankings. At least, not yet. The Vikings' all-pro cornerback published a first-person story in The Players' Tribune on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in which he ranked the top seven players in the NFC North. He ranked Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers No. 1 and included three Vikings players in his list: safety Harrison Smith at No. 3, Rhodes at No. 4 and defensive end Everson Griffen at No. 6. Any complaints so far?
MINNEAPOLIS — Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews saw plenty of Adrian Peterson in previous seasons. Now, he has high praise for another Vikings running back. Dalvin Cook will face the Packers for the first time Sunday at Lambeau Field. Cook was a rookie last season, but tore his left ACL in Week 4 and didn't play against Green Bay.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Kirk Cousins was watching Aaron Rodgers last Sunday night, he figured something special was about to happen. The quarterback had returned from a sprained left knee suffered in the first half, and Green Bay was down 20-0 in the third quarter. But Rodgers engineered a dramatic comeback for a 24-23 Packers win. "I found myself sitting on my couch as I watched, saying to my family and friends that I was watching with, 'He is probably going to bring them back,' '' Cousins said Wednesday.
EAGAN, Minn. — Bryan Witzmann didn't expect to be cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, but at least he gets to come home. The St. Paul native started 13 games at guard last season for the Chiefs before being released on Sept. 3. He signed with the Vikings on Monday, Sept. 10. "I was definitely surprised, but I know how this industry works and sometimes they think they can get by with younger, cheaper guys," he said Wednesday. "Obviously, it sucks to get cut, but I'm happy to be home."