Monday, October 24, 2016

Matt Kalil

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Vikings to Work Out OL Jake Long
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At some point, the injuries have to take their toll. The Minnesota Vikings continue to lose key starters, and yet, continue to win games. Mike Zimmer’s team is 5-0 and heads into the bye week as the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team.

They’ll have an extra week to get healthy, but that won’t stop the Vikings from preparing for the worst. As first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Minnesota will host veteran tackle Jake Long for a workout in the coming days. Long last played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015, appearing in just 11 snaps for the team.

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how surprised are you by Minnesota’s 3-0 start
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The Minnesota Vikings weren’t supposed to start the season undefeated. The losses of Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, and Sharrif Floyd spelled doom for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

But led my head coach Mike Zimmer and the NFL’s most dangerous defense, they’ve overcome the odds, beating NFC powerhouses like the Packers and Panthers along the way. It’s been an exhilarating run for fans, and one that may only improve with time.

Still, had you asked any fan before the season whether Sam Bradford could carry the Vikings or T.J. Clemmings would seemingly outperform Kalil, they’d have laughed in your face. This has been a surprising stretch of success in Minnesota, one that few outside the state or fan base expected.

Inside the Vikings Territory writer’s room, I asked the same question and received a few surprising answers:

“On a scale from 1-10, how surprised are you by Minnesota’s 3-0 start to the season?”

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Five Thoughts from the Vikings' win at Carolina.

zimmer suffocates cam
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1. Zimmer suffocates Cam.

Since Mike Zimmer became the coach of the Vikings, the team has played the Panthers twice, and in those games, Cam Newton is a combined 39 of 70 for 456 yards, with one passing touchdown and four interceptions. You can clearly see the impact Zimmer’s schemes and gameplans have on the 2015 MVP, and on Sunday, the Vikings stifled Newton in a way that few defenses can (21/35, 262 YDS, 0 TD, 3 INT). They also sacked him eight times. It was, quite simply, a magnificent performance, especially considering how prolific the Panthers’ offense usually is at home.

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Alex Boone Injured in Vikings Win
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Lost in the excitement of yesterday’s win over the Carolina Panthers is the potential loss of Alex Boone. The Minnesota Vikings’ starting left guard was injured in the second quarter and did not return to the game. His hip injury will require an MRI this afternoon and adds another offensive lineman to Eric Sugarman’s cadre of “patients.”

Boone’s status is up-in-the-air, leaving the Vikings without two starters up front. Matt Kalil underwent hip surgery of his own on Thursday, ending his season just two games into the 2016 campaign. Second-year tackle T.J. Clemmings stepped into Kalil’s role on Sunday, performing well enough to keep Sam Bradford upright against the Panthers.

Jeremiah Sirles replaced Boone midway through the second quarter and held his own against a stout Carolina front. Asked after the game if he was worried about the injury, Boone simply told Brian Murphy, “All fine, all good.”

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Minnesota Vikings - Carolina Panthers

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings have looked more like Discovery Health this week with long-term injuries and surgeries befalling Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, and Sharrif Floyd. But as we’ve seen from the Teddy Bridgewater injury, Mike Zimmer is not one to let his team just sit here and cry. Next man up and we’re on to Carolina.

To help preview the upcoming game in “totally nothing going on” Charlotte is show favorite Travis “T-Bone” Hancock of WFNZ. We talked about some of the civil unrest down there and how the community needs a football game, how Cam Newton has changed from last year, what the Panthers plan to do versus the Adrian-less Vikings, and also some mad love for Sam Bradford.

All that and other “Adrian Who?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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