Sunday, June 26, 2016

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings kick off the preseason in less than an hour, when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of the annual Hall of Fame Game. It’s an exciting night for fans around the country, and a chance for rookies and backups to prove their worth to the Vikings coaching staff.

A handful of Vikings, however, did not make the trip to Canton, Ohio. Earlier tonight, the team released a list of those who did not travel:

According to KFAN’s AJ Mansour, the starters will play just 8-12 snaps tonight, meaning we’ll only get a brief glimpse of Teddy Bridgewater and the rest of the team’s first-stringers tonight.

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More Than Words Announcement

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR #MORETHANWORDS DONATION TODAY

As most of you are aware by now, we have set an ambitious goal of raising over $10,000 for the “Chad’s Locker” program headed up by Chad Greenway and his Lead the Way Foundation by August 22nd.

The response has been amazing, as we’re currently right around $5,000 raised (new update coming soon), and Greenway reached out to us with a message he wanted past along to all the readers here at Vikings Territory.

Fans, Friends & Family,

I wanted to take a few minutes to write you all a personal letter regarding the #MoreThanWords Campaign. However, let me preface this whole thing with one simple statement: I am not a writer, I’m a football player. That being said, my parents taught me manners. And, when someone does a good thing for you, you write them a thank-you letter.

Your efforts to restock our children’s lockers across the Twin Cities deserve the biggest of thank you’s.

So far we’ve raised nearly $4,000 for the #MoreThanWords Campaign. As a result, children across the region will get the chance to take a break from their “hospital life” and just feel like a kid, again. The significance of this fun distraction cannot be overstated; these small moments make a huge impact in these children’s lives.

Thank you.

Thank you for your donations, for your time, for your retweets, for your facebook likes, and thank you for doing all of this without expecting anything in return. My wife and I started the Lead the Way Foundation in 2008 and every single year, like clockwork, you folks outdo yourselves. I will never forget what you all have done.

I wish I could say more, but I have to get back to camp. With one week left let’s keep the momentum rolling with #MoreThanWords, everyone! In the spirit of what I said earlier: even the smallest actions, moments, and donation can make the biggest difference. You can be that difference.

Gratefully,
Chad Greenway

We still have a long ways to go to meet our goals and I just want to take this opportunity to again encourage you all to make a donation if you can help. For every $10 you donate on behalf of Vikings Territory, your name will be entered into a drawing for a Vikings jersey of your choosing and some other great prizes (one of which is really cool and will be announced soon).

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR #MORETHANWORDS DONATION TODAY

 

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Fran Tarkenton “never knew Mick Tingelhoff to have a bad day,” and this may have been his best friend’s greatest moment yet.

The moment, 37 years in the making, has come and gone, and it’s one Vikings fans will never forget — Mick Tingelhoff is finally a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On the field, Tingelhoff was one of the greatest Vikings of all time, starting every game in his illustrious 17-year career and leading the franchise to 10 division titles. In 240 career games, he earned a reputation as one of the smartest, quickest, and strongest offensive lineman in the league, and his longevity is a testament to the toughness that led him to Canton, Ohio.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Today’s post marks the start of a season-long series of articles, where I’ll highlight specific players to watch during the Vikings’ weekly games. Tune in every Friday for new additions throughout the season!

This week, the Minnesota Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the game won’t take place at Heinz Field. No, the teams will grace Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual game and celebration of the NFL’s most prestigious players.

While players like Adrian Peterson and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown will skip the exhibition, a few key starters may see extended playing time, per Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer:

“We want to be crisp, we want to look sharp and I want to see the things we’ve been practicing being taken to the game field,” Zimmer said. “Whether it’s techniques or alignments, certain things against people you really haven’t prepared for. And, how they react to certain things they’re not prepared for. And, obviously, evaluation of a lot of different players.”

While the coaches will be evaluating every player, from rookie cornerback Trae Waynes to strong safety Robert Blanton, I’ll be keeping my eye on one of the team’s most critical positional groups — the offensive line. Left tackle Matt Kalil is entering a make-or-break season, and Phil Loadholt returns from a torn pectoral muscle suffered in 2014. In the interior, former right guard Brandon Fusco has flopped to the left side of the line, and the team’s best lineman, John Sullivan, anchors the unit at center.

If there’s one position surrounded by questions — other than left tackle — it’s right guard, where a number of players are competing to start. But when the Vikings take the field on Sunday evening, one veteran will have a chance to solidify his hold between Sullivan and Loadholt:

Mike Harris vs. Pittsburgh’s Defensive Line

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After spending a week in Mankato at training camp, I’ve seen a lot of Adrian Peterson. No personal interactions, but just observing him on the field, off the field, hanging out with teammates.

I’ve come to decide that he needs (deserves?) a second chance.

Remember earlier this year? I was ready to send Peterson packing. I had no interest in him playing for the Vikings again, and I wanted nothing more than to see him traded to just be done with all the drama.

When the very first report of the abuse incident came out, I had mixed feelings about the situation. I really felt there was a lot of truth to the idea that Peterson didn’t know a whole lot better, that he didn’t have cruel intentions. That it was a cultural/geographical difference in socially acceptable discipline. But still, he did hurt a child and didn’t use much self control.

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