Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings hall of fame defensive end Chris Doleman has made it back to the Twin Cities this year, seven months later than he had expected. Doleman, who lives outside Atlanta, had planned to attend Super Bowl LII in February at U.S. Bank Stadium. However, Doleman in January was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery. He spent five weeks in the hospital but told the Pioneer Press in March he was getting "back into the swing of life.''
MINNEAPOLIS — Marie Green had one request when she prepared to head to the Twin Cities for the induction of her late husband into the Vikings' Ring of Honor. "I told the Vikings I will need a nice healthy box of tissues," she said. "Save a box of Kleenex for me." Dennis Green died of a heart attack in 2016 at age 67. At halftime of the game against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 23, the Vikings will honor their former head coach with the highest tribute that the team bestows.
EAGAN, Minn. — For the first time in eight months, Pat Elflein will take the field for a game on Sunday. Sept. 23. The Vikings center suffered a fractured left ankle in January's NFC championship game at Philadelphia. He underwent surgery on the ankle as well as on his shoulder, which he had hurt in December. Elflein missed all of spring drills, training camp and the preseason and the first two regular-season games. But Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that Elflein will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium, although he will not start.
EAGAN, Minn.—Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and running back Dalvin Cook were both ruled out Friday, Sept. 21, for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium. Griffen, who has a knee injury, will be replaced by Stephen Weatherly. Cook, who has a hamstring injury, will be replaced by Latavius Murray. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Friday before the injury report came out that Griffen and Cook not play. Also expected to be out Sunday are cornerback Marcus Sherels (ribs) and tight end David Morgan (knee). either practiced all week.
EAGAN, Minn.—When Tom Johnson returned to the Vikings, he was given a choice between wearing No. 95 or 96. The decision was easy. When Johnson was with the Vikings from 2014-17, he played alongside Brian Robison on the defensive line and had a locker near him at Winter Park. The two became close. Robison was released by the Vikings earlier this month after 11 seasons. Johnson, a defensive tackle, signed with Minnesota on Wednesday and went through his first practice wearing Robison's old No. 96.
ST. PAUL — The Vikings acquired another target for Kirk Cousins, one he knows well. The quarterback played a role in Minnesota's decision to sign wide receiver Aldrick Robinson this week. The two were teammates in Washington from 2012-14 when Cousins was primarily the backup. "I like him as a player," Cousins said Wednesday, Sept. 19. "He's a great teammate, will be great for our locker room, a veteran presence to have around; and hopefully he can contribute on the field for us."
EAGAN, Minn. — In five seasons as Vikings coach, Mike Zimmer has had four place-kickers. He hopes the latest one will stick around. Minnesota signed veteran Dan Bailey on Tuesday, Sept. 18, to replace rookie Daniel Carlson, cut after missing three field goals in Sunday's 29-29 tie at Green Bay. Carlson had beaten out Kai Forbath for the job, who had taken over for Blair Walsh in mid-November 2016. "We've been trying to get that position solidified," Zimmer said Wednesday. "If we can get that position solidified like we have with the quarterback, that would be good."
EAGAN, Minn. — Defensive tackle Tom Johnson is back with the Vikings. According to a source, Johnson, released by Seattle last week, will sign a one-year deal with Minnesota worth about $1 million plus possible incentives worth another $500,000. Johnson played with the Vikings from 2014-17. The Vikings also made official the signing of kicker Dan Bailey to replace Daniel Carlson, who was waived Monday. To make room on the roster, the Vikings waived wide receiver Stacy Coley.
EAGAN, Minn.—Entering Sunday, Sept. 16, it had been nearly four years since the Vikings had a punt blocked. That changed early in the first quarter of a 29-29 tie at Green Bay. Geronimo Allison blocked Matt Wile's punt and Josh Jackson recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. "I just know right when I was making contact with the ball, it was, 'Huh, well, there's someone there,' '' Wile said Monday, Sept. 17, about what happened. "But after that punt, I just was focused on coming back and hitting good punts for rest of the game.''
EAGAN, Minn. — Because his father was a big fan of Deacon Jones, Sheldon Richardson grew up watching old films of the legendary pass rusher. Jones coined the term "sack," and used such tactics as the head slap on opposing offensive linemen. Richardson, a Vikings defensive tackle, can only imagine what he could accomplish if the NFL allowed him the same leniency as Jones had in the 1960s. "You remember how Deacon Jones used to get sacks and stuff like that?" Richardson said Monday, Sept. 17. "I'm pretty sure it's a way lot different now." It sure is.