Vikings Will See Beloved Friends in Back-to-Back Weeks

Vikings Have Begun Practicing for Playoffs
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The Minnesota Vikings 2023 regular schedule is a wee bit tougher — on paper — than the 2022 edition, but that’s how it goes during an eight-home-game season. Last year, per the NFL’s new 17-game routine, the Vikings played nine home games and will do so again in 2024.

Here’s the Vikings schedule, released Thursday night:

  • Week 1: Buccaneers (9/10)
  • Week 2: at Eagles (9/14, TNF)
  • Week 3: Chargers (9/24)
  • Week 4: at Panthers (10/1)
  • Week 5: Chiefs (10/8)
  • Week 6: at Bears (10/15)
  • Week 7: 49ers (10/23, MNF)
  • Week 8: at Packers (10/29)
  • Week 9: at Falcons (11/5)
  • Week 10: Saints (11/12)
  • Week 11: at Broncos (11/19, SNF)
  • Week 12: Bears (11/27, MNF)
  • Week 13: BYE
  • Week 14: at Raiders (12/10)
  • Week 15: at Bengals (TBD)
  • Week 16: Lions (12/24)
  • Week 17: Packers (12/31, SNF)
  • Week 18: at Lions (1/7)

Vikings Will See Beloved Friends in Back-to-Back Weeks

And in the season’s first quarter, Minnesota will see beloved former teammates in back-to-back weeks — Eric Kendricks (Los Angeles Chargers) and Adam Thielen (Carolina Panthers).

Vikings Will See Beloved
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Kendricks and his Chargers start the fun in Week 3 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings cut ties with Kendricks in March, sending him to free agency, where he latched onto the Chargers soon after. The 31-year-old is on tap to start in Tinseltown this season. Minnesota drafted Kendricks in 2015, later producing eight wonderful seasons with the Vikings. But it was evidently time to move on for both parties, and Kendricks will try on the AFC for size in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Vikings travel to Thielen’s new home the following week. Like Kendricks, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah deemed Thielen’s contract too spendy and said sayonara in March.

the adam thielen
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With a three-year and $25 million deal in Carolina, Thielen will help the new-look Panthers get off the ground with rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Frank Reich’s team used the draft’s first overall pick on Young and will patch the Alabama alumnus to QB1 from Andy Dalton before too long. Along with D.J. Chark and Terrace Marshall, Thielen will attempt to make life easier for Dalton and Young this September.

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Interestingly, Thielen didn’t necessarily want to leave Minnesota. He appeared on the Daily Delivery podcast last week and explained his Vikings exodus, “I think there are like two sides of it. It was a bummer. I didn’t want to leave Minnesota. I wanted to end my career there. Obviously, that would be the perfect fairy-tale way to do it, right? But that’s not reality.”

Thielen continued, “I’m so thankful for that organization, Kwesi and Kevin and the staff. The way they handled this throughout the process was first-class.”

The PFF Prediction for
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Kendricks’ Chargers pose a more significant threat than Thielen’s Panthers, but perhaps the degree of difficulty of home versus away will balance the menu. The Chargers play the Vikings in Minnesota, and the Panthers get Minnesota in Charlotte.

Most oddsmakers believe Minnesota will win eight or nine games in 2023.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.