Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn. -- Anyone who wasn’t familiar with Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson was introduced to him when he nearly broke the Internet on Nov. 25. In a game against the Carolina Panthers, Carson took a delayed handoff from quarterback Russell Wilson, shed a tackle at the point of attack, then went airborne with Panthers safety Eric Reid gearing up to lay the boom.
EAGAN, Minn. -- A harmless exchange at the West Side St. Paul Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, Dec. 4, perfectly encapsulated the unlikely NFL career of Vikings fullback C.J. Ham. “Wait,” a little boy screamed, stopping Ham dead in his tracks. “Are you a real football player?” “Nah,” Ham replied with a smile. “I’m one of those fake football players.” “Yeah, I knew it,” the little boy replied without missing a beat. “You’re lame.” Even before Ham could acknowledge the burn, the little boy was gone, onto chatting up the next “real” football player he could find.
EAGAN, Minn. -- A nightmare for offensive linemen through the opening two months of the season, Vikings star defensive end Danielle Hunter hasn’t had a sack in three games. What gives? Since Hunter earned 3 1/2 of the Vikings’ franchise-record 10 in a victory over Detroit on Nov. 4, opponents are effectively scheming Hunter out of the game The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers used frequent double-teams; the New England Patriots used quick passes from Tom Brady. Once leading the NFL in sacks, Hunter is stuck on 11 1/2, tied with three other players for fourth.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Sometimes it seems Mike Zimmer can’t help himself. After opening Monday, Dec. 4’s news conference by defending offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, Zimmer quickly pivoted to put the onus on himself, saying he must “do a better job” monitoring the offense during games.
EAGAN, Minn. -- As good as Vikings safety Anthony Harris had been this season — at one point the best safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus — Mike Zimmer refused to take a definitive stance about his place in the starting lineup. As a way not to tip his hand, and perhaps to spare the feelings of starting safety Andrew Sendejo, Zimmer would never commit to starting Harris. “I’ll worry about that when the time comes,” the Vikings head coach said a couple of weeks ago. “I mean, Anthony’s done a good job.”
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — With three quarters of the NFL season in the books, the Vikings still haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. That trend continued with a 24-10 loss to the New England Patriots (9-4) on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, at Gillette Stadium.
FOXBORO, Mass. — A one-word response from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer that might have been most telling after a 24-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, at Gillette Stadium. Did the Vikings run the ball enough? “No,” Zimmer said after a long pause. He then quickly turned his attention elsewhere to look for the next question.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Kirk Cousins still remembers the first time he stepped into the lion’s den. In his first season as the unquestioned starter with the Washington Redskins back in 2015, Cousins had a date with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. He was less-than-impressive in a 27-10 loss, finishing 22 of 40 for 217 yards, a touchdown and an interception. A self-proclaimed “great question-asker” when picking the brains of opposing players, Cousins made it a point to seek out Brady after the game, even if it was only for a few seconds.
It might be time for undrafted rookie Holton Hill to step out from behind the shadow of Xavier Rhodes. After learning the ropes from the Pro Bowl cornerback this season, Hill might be in line for more snaps during the Sunday, Dec. 2, 3:25 p.m. kickoff at New England Patriots. Rhodes, recovering from an injury to his right hamstring, was officially ruled questionable on Friday’s injury report.
What started as a bet between friends has former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, and a few other former NFL players, on a crash course they hope will make them the U.S. curlers in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. “My friend told me I couldn’t become an Olympian,” Allen said during a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. “It was kind of just talk, and then I started looking at some of the sports I thought I’d be capable of doing. I was actually looking at badminton at first, and then it kind of transpired into curling. That’s kind of how everything got started.”