Sunday, November 29, 2015

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

The Minnesota Vikings had a nice team win on Sunday in St. Louis, but some players stood out more than others, and I want to know which Vikings player impressed you the most.  Here are your candidates for our Week One “Player of the Game” award.  Cast your vote at the bottom.

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON:  “Flash” made a huge impact as the game’s leading rusher (3 carries, 102 yards, 1 TD) and caught three of his five targets in the passing came (3 catches for 26 yards).  He also averaged 24 yards on his two kick return attempts.  His 67 yard touchdown run in the third quarter was pretty much when the Rams began to look defeated and withdrawn.

GREG JENNINGS:  Jennings led the Vikings pass catchers in the statistical categories of targets (7), catches (6), and yards (58).  He scored the first Vikings touchdown of 2014 on an eight yard pass from Matt Cassel.

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The Minnesota Vikings have released Jamarca Sanford from short-term injured reserve (which is not the same as injured reserve-designated for return) and have reached an injury settlement with the former starting safety. What generally happens in these cases is that the player and his representation disagree with the team over the likely length of their injury, so they cannot reach an injury settlement in the offseason. As a result, they put the player on injured reserve to wait out how long he will take to recover, then release him.

In this case, something about the injury must have clarified itself to one or both parties, so they could reach an injury settlement and release him outright. He will not return to the Vikings, per Darren Wolfson.

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The Vikings are left with one practice squad spot again (perhaps for Mike Remmers) now that the Bears have signed former Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon off of their practice squad. Ahmad Dixon was one of nine practice squad players in the NFL (out of 320) making more than the league minimum for practice squad players, at $9,300 a week (minimum is $6,300).

The Bears have had issues with the safety position for a while and Chris Conte’s play against the Buffalo Bills is another indication. This comes on the heels of the Bears releasing Adrian Wilson in training camp to reduce the roster to 75 players (before final cutdowns).

Chicago cut cornerback Demontre Hurst to make room for him. Players can be signed at any time by any team from a practice squad, so long as they are being signed to a 53-man roster. Players are free to decline, as Tori Gurley did to the Vikings while the Packers were in the playoffs.

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There is no doubt that bigger challenges than the St. Louis Rams are in our near future, but for now the Vikings are enjoying their first win of the 2014 regular season, a 34-6 blasting that resulted in a Gatorade bath for coach Mike Zimmer.  Before we move on to next week’s matchup against the Patriots, here are a few post-game quotes and comments to enjoy:

Mike Zimmer on winning road games after the Vikings 2013 struggles:

I actually heard a couple of the players talking about it today before we went on. I’ve said it all along: If you play smart football, if you play good techniques and good fundamentals, you can go out in the parking lot and do good. It’s more about how you play than where you play.

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