Friday, December 15, 2017

riley reiff

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Vikings should get Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers, and maybe Riley Reiff back Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was in a better mood Wednesday at his press conference. That may have something to do with the health of his beat-up offensive line.

Zimmer was calm today when asked how he felt about the offensive line heading into Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.

“I feel pretty good. I think we’ll get a lot of them back,” Zimmer continued. “We should get [Pat] Elfein back this week, I think we should get [Mike] Remmers back. There’s a good chance, a possibility of getting [Riley] Reiff back.”

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings season up to this point has just been the calm before the Storm.

The Vikings signed offensive tackle Storm Norton to the practice squad Tuesday. The team waived safety Jack Tocho.

Norton is 6-foot 8 and 306 pounds. He played college football at Toledo in Ohio. The 23 year-old was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He spent training camp with Detroit and has spent time on the Lions and Arizona Cardinals practice squads throughout the season.

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What a difference a week makes.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t always a happy man. That statement is especially true after his team suffers a loss. One can imagine reviewing game film the next day and reliving the mistakes his team made doesn’t exactly make Zimmer a jolly person. Needless to say, he wasn’t in a great mood at his weekly press conference Monday.

After a weekend loss to the Carolina Panthers in which multiple players left the stadium hobbled and in walking boots, Zimmer naturally fielded questions early and often regarding injury updates.

When he was first asked if he thought the team would be at full strength this upcoming Sunday, Zimmer didn’t have much of a response.

“I don’t know… today’s Monday,” he murmured softly. “I don’t know.”

A few questions later, Zimmer let out a sarcastic laugh as he grew increasingly annoyed by reporter questions.

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offensive line
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The Vikings lost 31-24 Sunday to a good team on the road. From the start, it looked like one of those days where nothing would go right, and Minnesota committed uncharacteristic errors throughout the game. They turned the ball over three times, dropped five passes (matching their season total entering the day), and were defensively out of position on two decisive runs. The defense extended drives with incidental penalties and was beaten for a touchdown on a circus play in which they had the quarterback dead to rights but failed to close the deal.

It was, all around, a poor performance from one of the NFC’s best teams, and still they had a legitimate chance to win after charging back to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Had they punched the ball into the end zone rather than settle for a field goal on their final offensive drive — an area the team has generally excelled in 2017 — they probably would have won the game and improved to 11-2. As it stands, the Vikings are 10-3, and finished the once-daunting five-game gauntlet after their bye 4-1.

No, you shouldn’t be worried.

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Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers

The Vikings (10-2) will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend to take on Panthers (8-4) at Bank of America Stadium. The game is Sunday at noon (CST).

The showdown will be a battle between two top-10 defenses.

Earlier in the week, we looked at how the teams stacked up by numbers. Now, let’s focus on the individual matchups that will be crucial in determining the game’s outcome.

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