Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2015 NFL season ended more than three months ago, yet it seems like it has been forever since an football game has been played. With the league’s release of the official dates and times for the 2016 NFL preseason today, a bit of excitement was felt by those who have clamoring for any sort of televised professional football that is not played in Canada or in an arena.

For the Minnesota Vikings, the actual opponents for which they will be facing in the upcoming preseason has been known for some time. Now, the Vikings and every other team in the league knows the exact times in which those games will be kicking off.

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Dear Fellow Vikings Fans,

From the day I started writing about the Minnesota Vikings I often field the question “why do you spend your time on that?” It was an answer that was hard to find, to be honest. I’m lucky enough to have a demanding career that has nothing to do with this website, I’m a lucky husband, and I’m a father of three beautiful children… Time is precious for me and there is only so much of it.

So… why do I do it?

I’m not sure that I have yet to find a comprehensive answer to that yet, to be perfectly honest. I enjoy the bond I share with many of our readers, particularly the”old gang” that has been here since the start. I love that I’ve surrounded myself with enough incredibly talented (and awesome) teammates that this thing continues to reach new successes. And, of course, I love my Minnesota Vikings and really look forward to the day when Vikings Territory gets to publish that article that is celebrating their first Super Bowl victory.

All of that stuff combined makes every day running this site an absolute honor, but my favorite time of each year (a close second to the NFL Draft) is when we try to use our little corner of the internet to do a bit of good.

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A new face joins the defensive line

Vikings Waive B.J. Dubose, Sign DT Bruce Gaston
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The injury bug bites the Minnesota Vikings again, as the team lost defensive tackle B.J. Dubose to a torn ACL last week. The second-year defensive end suffered the injury during organized team activities (OTAs) and limped off the field under his own power.

According to the Vikings’ official website, Dubose has been waived and will now hit the waiver wire. Other teams have 24 hours to claim Dubose before he reverts back to the Vikings’ injured reserve list, per Andrew Krammer. Dubose was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and did not appear in any games for the Vikings.

To fill the roster and replace Dubose, the Vikings signed journeyman nose tackle Bruce Gaston. An undrafted free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft, Gaston has played for five other franchises, including the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. His most recent stint came with the Bears, where he totaled 11 tackles (8 solo), four quarterback hurries, one tackle for loss, and one sack.

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If you’ve been around these parts for a few years now, you know that we like to use our little corner of the internet to do something positive for those in need.

Last year, we partnered with Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation and a number of other online Vikings communities to raise money on behalf of his “Chad’s Locker” initiative. The money raised went a long way towards help young ones and their families keep occupied and entertained during extended hospital stays.

This year, we have even bigger plans…

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Projecting the Vikings' Final 53-Man Roster
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2016 season inched forward a bit when the Vikings opened their OTA offseason workouts. With that came plenty of early optimism about the Vikings’ talented roster. Teddy is ready to throw for 10,000 yards. Adrian Peterson is in the best shape of his life. 2015 top pick Trae Waynes is thriving and Aaron Boone looks great in purple.

If you listen closely, you can hear the faintest of claims that the Vikings are a true Super Bowl contender.

It is too early to say most of these things, but when you start to stack Minnesota’s roster, you can see why the hype exists. I struggled with my first attempt to pencil in a final 53-man roster, mostly because there will be talented players who will inevitably be cut. The front office won’t have an easy task on their hands, but I’d take a loaded roster over a barren one any day of the week.

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