Thursday, February 11, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to Tom Pelissero, the Vikings have selected a new head team physician in Dr. Chris Larson.

Larson is associated with Twin Cities Orthopedics, as are additional new hires Dr. Chris Coetzee and Dr. Greg Lervick. Pelissero reported that the Vikings’ previous contract with Tria Orthopedics expired, and the team has now decided to transition to the new brand.

It seems Minnesota is intentionally employing specialists, as each of the three additions focus on a specific area. Coetzee works with foot/ankle, and Lervick’s focus is shoulder/elbow. Larson is well-established as one of the nation’s leading hip surgeons, and he also specializes in knees.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In Minnesota, it’s hard for sports fans to be optimistic. For years, they’ve watched team miss playoff after playoff, or go on to finish seasons with losing records after losing records. It hasn’t been an enjoyable run, but things seem to be getting brighter in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

At the shiny new Courts in Mayo Clinic Square, Timberwolves rookies Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones are invigorating the franchise with excitement, buoyed by the early success of second-year player Andrew Wiggins. Down the road at Target Field, minor league call-up Miguel Sano is launching home runs to help the Twins to a 45-39 record. And in the Excel Energy Center, the Wild look to make another playoff run after signing goalie Devan Dubnyk to a six-year contract last month.

But this isn’t a Minnesota Sports site — it’s Vikings Territory! How are things up in Winter Park? Most fans would say they’re great; Adrian Peterson is back, Mike Zimmer is leading the charge, and the defense is finally capable of stopping the offenses of the NFC North. Given the team’s unfortunate history, though, it’s no surprise that Teddy Bridgewater is serving up slices of humble pie, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

Personally, it’s refreshing to see such a young player handle the pressure so elegantly. For many Bridgewater’s age, the limelight can be a difficult place to live, and he’s proven he’s comfortable under the stressful spotlight — or should I say, “Great Under Major Pressure”? In interviews throughout OTAs and minicamp, Bridgewater’s been deferential, heaping praise on his teammates and attributing the team’s heightened expectations to the coaching staff and front office.

Sure, Vikings fans have had it rough for years, but this may be the season our luck changes. When the time comes, we can celebrate, but for now, I’m comfortable watching Teddy operate like a pro — on and off the field.

And now, some of the most popular Vikings links from around the web!:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before Josh Robinson’s injury, many envisioned a solid starting group of cornerbacks for the Minnesota Vikings. With budding superstar Xavier Rhodes manning the left side of the field and veteran Terence Newman lining up opposite him, Mike Zimmer’s unit had the potential to field one of the league’s best secondaries.

However, the likely loss of Robinson for a stretch of 2015 creates intrigue at the slot/nickel position, where the 24-year-old cornerback was one of the favorites to start. After an up-and-down year that saw him start 6 games and finish with 2 interceptions, Robinson entered the offseason with hopes of carving out a full-time role in Zimmer’s ever-shifting scheme.

Per Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton, Josh Robinson is “rotation-worthy”, making him an ideal fit in a Zimmer defense that requires a number of different lineups:

But that changed when Robinson suffered a pectoral injury that kept him out of the team’s minicamp practices last month. His absence opened the door for a number of players, one of whom will likely start the season in his place. In the spirit of Brent’s latest article on the team’s cornerback depth, I’ll quickly sort through the options in the slot.

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Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) of the Star Tribune joins the show to talk about our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we count down the days until we’re back in the hood in Mankato ready to launch this 2015 season into orbit. This year’s version of 4th of July has come and gone (without any Vikings pulling a JPP, FTW), so grab some leftover BBQ, toss some aloe on the sunburns, and listen to some Purple FTW! goodness!

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