Browns don't practice again as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on team
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland. However, a league spokesman said Thursday there “is no change to the status of the game” at Heinz Field. As his first postseason appearance draws near, Mayfield said he's been doing all he can at home to get ready. For special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, Sunday's game is a scenario he knew was possible due to the pandemic. “Make no mistake, this is Kevin’s team,” said Priefer, a Cleveland native.
AP sources: Star Vikings RB Cook absent after father's death
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)MINNEAPOLIS – Running back Dalvin Cook is not practicing with the Minnesota Vikings this week, due to the death of his father. Cook has a younger brother, James Cook, who is a running back for Georgia. He was picked for a second straight Pro Bowl, with 1,557 rushing yards, 361 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns in 14 games. Cook’s absence will clinch a second consecutive rushing title for Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, who has a 220-yard lead on Cook. Cook has a slim lead on Henry atop the NFL with 1,918 total yards.
Kamara's 6 TDs tie NFL record; Saints beat Vikings 52-33
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) breaks free past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27), outside linebacker Eric Wilson (50) and defensive end D.J. He finished with a career-high 155 yards rushing to help New Orleans beat the Minnesota Vikings 52-33 on Friday and clinch a fourth straight NFC South title. He has since set Saints records for rushing TDs in a season with 16 and total TDs with 21 (he has five receiving). It would be 8-yard gain, 7-yard gain.”The Saints (11-4) never punted, and set a record of yards gained in a game by a Vikings opponent with 583. New Orleans' 264 yards rushing were the most by a Vikings opponent in Zimmer's seven seasons.
Texans preparing to host Vikings in matchup of winless teams
HOUSTON – Dalvin Cook could be due for a big game Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Houston Texans in a matchup of winless teams. Cook ranks third in the NFL in yards rushing after running for a career-high 181 yards last week in a loss to Tennessee. Houston (0-3) has the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing a whopping 188.3 yards rushing a game this season. Houston ranks 31st in the NFL in yards rushing with just 66 a game. “You just get to work,” Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said.
Vikings back at practice after precautionary virus pause
The Minnesota Vikings reopened their headquarters for team activities on Thursday, following another morning of zero positive COVID-19 test results four days after playing a Tennessee Titans team that experienced the NFL's first outbreak. The Vikings announced their resumption of practice shortly after the league postponed Tennessee's home game on Sunday against Pittsburgh. Minnesota plays at Houston on Sunday, a game between two of the NFL's six 0-3 teams that remains on track for now. Vikings coaches took their strategizing for the Texans home on Tuesday, which is already a day off for the players unless they need injury treatment. Then instead of taking the field to install the game plan for the week on Wednesday, players discussed it virtually with the coaches via video conference.
Rodgers at ease as Packers roll past Vikings 43-34
Davante Adams was predictably the biggest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who posted their highest score against the Vikings since a 44-31 victory at the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013. Jaire Alexander, who also recorded a safety on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was forced out in the second quarter, Jenkins moved back to his original spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. ... DT Kenny Clark (groin) was hurt in the second quarter during Alexander's interception and didn't return.
NFL requiring coaches, staff near bench to wear masks
The NFL has updated its gameday protocols by requiring every coach and staff member in the bench area to wear a mask and reducing the size of each teams travel party. Owners also will have to follow COVID-19 testing requirements to gain access to the locker room, field or team charter. We have been really fortunate that cases of COVID-19 are very low across the league, Goodell said Tuesday. It is a testament to the plans, but most importantly to the diligence of the players, the teams and their staffs. I believe that we may be having a lot of teams that will start with no fans in the beginning this season, and then evolve to fans, Goodell said.
Doctor: NFL COVID-19 testing issues gave it test fire drill
ALLEN PARK, Mich. In two-plus weeks, the NFL kicks off its season. That doesn't leave much time to resolve significant issues about its COVID-19 testing procedures. Among teams reporting false positives, the Minnesota Vikings had 12, the New York Jets 10, the Chicago Bears nine and the Detroit Lions one. Five labs across the country process tests for the league's 32 teams and only the New Jersey facility had false positives on Saturday. The Cleveland Browns initially canceled practice, but after re-testing turned up negative tests they decided to have their workout.
Vikings sign Zimmer to 3-year contract extension through '23
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2019, file photo, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Minneapolis. The Vikings signed head coach Zimmer on Friday, July 24, 2020, to a three-year contract extension through the 2023 season. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, File)MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Vikings signed head coach Mike Zimmer to a three-year contract extension through the 2023 season, finalizing a key piece of business Friday before the beginning of training camp. Coach Zimmer brings an intensity and consistency to the field that our players and fans alike appreciate. Zimmer's son, linebackers coach Adam Zimmer, will serve as co-defensive coordinator with defensive line coach Andre Patterson this year.
Floyd death spurs action in Minn. sports for societal change
George Floyd was killed less than three miles from the stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play, so this global unrest over racial relations and justice hit awfully close to home for the team. (Brian Peterson/Star Tribune via AP)MINNEAPOLIS Eric Kendricks woke up distressed shortly after George Floyd was killed just a few miles from the stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. Commissioner Roger Goodell issued an apology the day after for not listening earlier and encouraged players to speak up and peacefully protest. For the Vikings, like their fellow Twin Cities sports figures, the death of Floyd hit close to home. Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell marched with protesters in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where the death of Breonna Taylor has also stirred uprising.