StarTribune.com

November 2007


Blackout lifted

Friday, November 30th, 2007

The Vikings-Lions game will be shown locally Sunday after the remaining 2,100 tickets were picked up on Friday.

U.S. Bank, SuperClean Brands/Factory Value Parts and KMSP (Ch. 9) combined to buy the remaining tickets, making the game a sellout.

The Vikings got a 25-hour extension on Thursday and announced the sellout at 12:30 p.m. today.

Williamson misses practice

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Receiver Troy Williamson sat out practice today after experiencing headaches following Wednesday’s session. Williamson, who suffered a concussion on Sunday returning a kick against the Giants, had done limited work Wednesday. This is the second concussion of Williamson’s NFL career. He also had one last year.

Running back Adrian Peterson, meanwhile, split reps with Chester Taylor and is on course to play Sunday against Detroit. Peterson officially was listed on the injury report as “limited participation” in practice.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield (hamstring) remained limited in practice and again will be a game-time decision. “He’s going to have to get on full speed before we get to the game,” coach Brad Childress said.

The rest of the injury report: S Tank Williams (knee), did not practice; FB Tony Richardson (knee), limited; C Matt Birk (knee), limited; and LB Dontarrious Thomas (groin), limited.

Defensive end Kenechi Udeze returned to the team after missing Wednesday to be with his wife, Terrica, who gave birth to a girl.

Tank sits out

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Safety Tank Williams (knee) was the only player not on the field during the media access portion of today’s practice. Receiver Troy Williamson, however, did not have a helmet on and was going to be held out. He suffered a concussion returning a kick last Sunday against the Giants.

Rookie running back Adrian Peterson was once again on the field wearing a brace on his right knee.

In the NFL Pro Bowl balloting among fans, Peterson continues to lead the way with 457,426 votes. Tony Richardson leads fullbacks with 117,596 votes.

Voting for the Pro Bowl is done by fans, coaches and players. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 43-man rosters for the NFC and AFC.

Birk wins community award again

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Center Matt Birk has been named the Vikings community man of the year for the sixth consecutive year. Birk is involved in several of the Vikings community efforts. In 2002, he established his HIKE foundation and has raised more than $450,000 to date. Those funds have been used for interactive programming and education assistance. Birk also is the team spokesman for United Way.

Wednesday injury report

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Defensive end Kenechi Udeze missed Wednesay’s practice for personal reasons. Safety Tank Williams (knee) also did not participate.

Six players were limited including, running back Adrian Peterson (knee), cornerback Antoine Winfield (hamstring), fullback Tony Richardson (knee), center Matt Birk (knee), linebacker Dontarrious Thomas (groin) and receiver Troy Williamson (concussion).

Until now the term “concussion” had not been applied to the head injury Williamson suffered on a third-quarter kickoff against the Giants on Sunday but it doesn’t come as a surprise to see that he does indeed have a concussion.

As for Peterson, the expectation remains that he will be ready to go Sunday against Detroit.

The Lions, meanwhile, listed only one player on their injury report. That was defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, who has a hamstring injury.

Childress reacts to tragic news

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

As the NFL continued to mourn the tragic shooting death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, Vikings coach Brad Childress was asked for his reaction.

Childress said he learned of Taylor’s death at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday when he received a text message from Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie. Taylor and McKinnie had been teammates at the University of Miami.

Childress said Taylor’s death was the first thing that was addressed this morning when he met with his players.

“The thing that we talk about is when I walk back in that meeting room on a Wednesday[after giving the] guys two days off, I’m genuinely glad to see those 53 guys,” Childress said. “Whether you have children, and some of them have young kids, or whether you have a teenager or young adults in their 20s. People that do understand laying in bed at night and doing a mental inventory of, ‘OK, they’re all in bed or I’ve got one that is still out there somewhere.’

“And so I do the same thing with those 53 guys. Some of the guys can relate to that that have children. We talked about Sean, we talked about his child, we talked about his girlfriend and certainly about his family and his parents, who always think you’re [not] going to outlive your child.

“And then we talked about the fragility of life that there is no bartering for. Whether it’s somebody running a stoplight or somebody coming into your house, you just don’t know. And so you need to live all the days to your fullest.”

McKinnie was on the field for the Vikings walk-through today and Childress said he’s doing better. “I think he’s had a chance to speak with all of his teammates that knew and interacted with Sean,” Childress said. “Obviously, Bryant has a home in Florida and so he and Sean … he was a junior when Sean came as a freshman. There’s that almost littler brother type nature to it. It’s very difficult for him.”

Practice update: Defensive end Kenechi Udeze was not on the field for the portion of practice that is open to the media. Childress did not mention Udeze in his news conference so we’ll have to wait until the injury report comes out to see what’s going on. Running back Adrian Peterson (knee) and cornerback Antoine Winfield (hamstring) were on the field. Safety Tank Williams (knee) was not.

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