StarTribune.com

December 2006


No Williamson

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Receiver Troy Williamson won’t be active for the Vikings’ regular-season finale against the Rams. It’s the second time this season Williamson has been inactive. One would have to assume the move is being made because receivers Jason Carter and Martin Nance will be active.

The Vikings other inactives include running backs Wendell Mathis and Ciatrick Fason; cornerback Mike Hawkins; fullback Naufahu Tahi; and offensive linemen Anthony Herrera and Marcus Johnson. Brooks Bollinger will be the third quarterback.

With Cedric Griffin and Fred Smoot injured, Charles Gordon will start at right corner.

The Rams inactives include cornerback Jerametrius Butler; running back Paul Smith and Rich Alexis; linebacker Jamal Brooks; offensive linemen Larry Turner and Jeremy Parquet; and defensive end Victor Adeyanju. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the third quarterback.

Inactives upcoming

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Should have the inactives for today’s game within the next half-hour or so (10:06 a.m., right now). The only thing that will be interesting about that from the Vikings perspective is whether they dress young receivers such as Jason Carter and Martin Nance.

As most of you probably know, the Vikings-Rams matchup now means nothing from a playoff standpoint. The Giants’ victory over Washington eliminated the Rams from postseason contention in the NFC.

No fine for Harris

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Here’s one for all of you who think the NFL goes above and beyond to protect Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Vikings middle linebacker Napoleon Harris was not fined by the league for his hit on Favre that drew a 15-yard roughing the passer call in the fourth quarter last Thursday at Lambeau Field.

The penalty came on a third-and-13 play with the Vikings leading 7-6 and the Packers at the Minnesota 29. Three plays later the Vikings dodged a bullet as Green Bay tight end Bubba Franks lost a fumble at the Minnesota 3.

Of course, it didn’t matter in the end. Packers kicker Dave Rayner made a 44-yard field goal on Green Bay’s next drive for a 9-7 victory.

Team MVPs named

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Vikings players selected an MVP at each position group on Friday.

Not surprisingly, the offensive MVP is running back Chester Taylor. Signed as a free agent from Baltimore last March, Taylor has rushed for 1,185 yards on 291 carries (4.1 average) and has five touchdowns. He also has caught 41 passes for 284 yards.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield, who leads the Vikings with 18 passes defensed and is tied for the team lead with four interceptions, was selected as the defensive MVP. Winfield did not even make it as an alternate on the NFC Pro Bowl roster despite his performance this season.

Linebacker Heath Farwell was picked as the standout on special teams. Farwell leads the Vikings with 23 special-teams tackles and added a fumble recovery.

Final Friday practice

Friday, December 29th, 2006

The Vikings are going through their final practice of the season at Winter Park today in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Rams. It seems like the only real interest will be in how Tarvaris Jackson performs at quarterback and how some of the other younger players do, assuming they get a chance.

Of course, many Vikings fans likely are hoping the team will lose because that will result in a higher draft pick. Some discussion already is ongoing on previous blogs about that topic.

Sunday doubleheader

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Here’s some good news, bad news that doesn’t involve the Vikings. The league announced today it will allow the first-ever television “double doubleheader” on Sunday.

First the bad news: Because the Vikings are playing at home Sunday their game against St. Louis at noon on Fox will be the only one shown in that time slot. (Markets without a home game will get both a Fox and CBS game.)

Now the good news: Both WCCO (Ch. 4) and Fox (Ch. 9) will air games locally at 3:15 p.m. WCCO will have Miami vs. Indianapolis; Fox will have Atlanta-Philadelphia.

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