Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—The brother of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is the Fox analyst for Sunday's game, but that doesn't mean he has any inside information on Sam Bradford. "He's not going to tell me anything," former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman said of the quarterback's availability on Thursday. At least Vikings coach Mike Zimmer revealed a little. Zimmer said Bradford, who sat out last week's 26-9 loss at Pittsburgh with a left knee injury, was doing "better" and has a chance to play on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings punter Ryan Quigley said he hasn't been recognized yet while out and about in the Twin Cities. "I'm a pretty generic-looking guy," he admits. Quigley doesn't mind. He points out that nobody notices the punter until he messes up. Quigley hasn't done much of that in his first season with the Vikings. Just two years after ranking next to last in the NFL in net punting average with the New York Jets, he is averaging 44.0 yards net in his first two games this season, which ranks him fifth in the NFL.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — As one of the Vikings' captains, Brian Robison headed out for the coin toss before last Monday's opener against New Orleans. Then it got a bit strange. When Minnesota came out on defense for the first play of the game, the defensive end remained on the sidelines. He eventually did enter the game, the first time he had been a reserve since the 2010 regular-season finale at Detroit.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Vikings return Sunday, Sept. 17, to the state where their road woes began. Entering an Oct. 23, 2016, game at Philadelphia, Minnesota had won seven of eight road games. It started to go the other way that day in a 21-10 loss to the Eagles. Now, the Vikings have dropped five of their past six on the road. They'll try to get that turned around in Pennsylvania when they face Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. "It's definitely a good thing to get the swagger back going on the road," said defensive tackle Shamar Stephen.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — South Florida pride will be on the line Sunday, Sept. 17, when Xavier Rhodes faces off against Antonio Brown. The Vikings cornerback and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver are Miami natives who attended the same high school and train together in the offseason. "This will be more of a hometown (matchup)," Rhodes said. "We grew up in the same neighborhood. ... It's more going to be like a brotherly type thing."
MINNEAPOLIS — The last time a Vikings quarterback was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the season went pretty well. That was in 2009, when Brett Favre won the award twice, and the Vikings made it to the NFC championship game. Sam Bradford picked up the honor Wednesday, Sept. 13, for his lights-out performance in Monday night's 29-19 season-opening victory over New Orleans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and a career-high passer rating of 143.0.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Defenses supposedly are going to pay closer attention to Adam Thielen after his breakout 2016 season. If the New Orleans Saints did Monday night, it didn't work. The Vikings wide receiver caught nine passes for 157 yards in a 29-19 win over the Saints in the opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. For Thielen, it was the second-best showing of his career in both categories.
MINNEAPOLIS — There had been plenty of questions about the Vikings' offensive line, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs decided to pose one himself to the media. "You guys always have nice things to say about them, right?" Diggs said after Minnesota opened the season with a resounding 29-19 win over New Orleans on Monday, Sept. 11, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Vikings on Monday, Sept. 11, reached an injury settlement with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, likely ending his time this season with the team. Heinicke, recovering from a mild concussion and a strained right oblique muscle, was released off injured reserve. While the Vikings have moved on by signing quarterback Kyle Sloter to the practice squad, there still exists a chance Heinicke could return to the team this season if there are unforeseen circumstances.