Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings tackle Mike Remmers won't play Sunday, Dec. 10, against his old team, but he's been passing on plenty of tips to his replacement. Remmers, who has a lower back injury, was ruled out Friday for the game at Carolina, the fifth straight he will miss. He played with the Panthers from 2014-16 before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with the Vikings.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Steve Jordan is widely regarded as the best tight end in Vikings history, but Kyle Rudolph has a chance to surpass him. Just ask Jordan. "He's still in mid-career, so time will tell," Jordan said. "If he continues to progress, he's got unlimited potential. He's a Pro Bowl-type player."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Duluth native C.J. Ham grew up a Vikings fan, and was glued to the television in 2012 when Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards and was named NFL MVP. Ham, then a redshirt freshman running back at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., wasn't just paying attention to Peterson that season. He was keeping a close eye on the fullback blocking for him. "I liked Jerome Felton a lot," Ham said. "Adrian had some unbelievable years with him blocking in front of him. Obviously, (Felton) was doing something right."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The last time the Vikings went to the Super Bowl, they were led by scrambling quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Could another scrambler get them there this season? Former Minnesota running back Chuck Foreman, who was on three Super Bowl teams in the 1970s with Tarkenton, isn't making any predictions. But Foreman said Case Keenum does conjure up some memories of Tarkenton eluding pass rushers.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Jarius Wright's clutch play has earned him several nicknames from teammates. The Vikings wide receiver doesn't catch a lot of passes, but the ones he does grab really seem to count. Of Wright's 14 receptions this season, nine have been for first downs and two for touchdowns. Five catches have resulted in a third-down conversion. Wright caught three passes for 18 yards in the Vikings' 14-9 victory over the Falcons on Sunday in Atlanta. Two went for first downs, with one being a third-down conversion.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Kendricks brothers are in for a month of friendly banter over the rest of the NFL season. Eric Kendricks is a linebacker for the Vikings; Mychal Kendricks is a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Their teams are each 10-2 and tied for the top playoff seed in the NFC, although Minnesota holds the tiebreaker, for now. "We've actually been talking a little crap all year," Eric Kendricks said Monday, Dec. 4.
ATLANTA — The Vikings got some extra motivation before Sunday's game from hall of fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton, who lives in Atlanta, addressed the Vikings at the team hotel Saturday night, Dec. 2. And he was on hand for Minnesota's 14-9 victory over the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS—In Mike Zimmer's first three seasons as coach, the Minnesota Vikings often won games despite their offense. Zimmer built a top-notch defense in a hurry, but the offense remained behind. Minnesota was 27th in the NFL in total offense in 2014, 28th in 2015 and 28th last season. Well, the other side of the ball finally has caught up. The Vikings are the NFL's only team to rank in the top five in total offense (5th) and total defense (5th). That kind of balance has been a key reason in Minnesota being 9-2 and tied for the second-best record in the NFL.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon will be thinking this weekend about the middle school coach who told him he was too small to play football and would get hurt. He'll remember college recruiters who bypassed him because of his size. McKinnon, who grew up outside of Atlanta in Cobb County, will return home for Sunday, Dec. 3's noon kickoff against the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes has contained Julio Jones, one of the NFL's top receivers, twice. Can he do it a third time? In 54 games since the start of the 2014 season, the Atlanta Falcons star has averaged 107 yards receiving against teams other than the Vikings. With Rhodes covering him during games against Minnesota in 2014 and '15, Jones averaged 69 yards. The two meet again Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and Rhodes will be ready.