Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EGAN, Minn. — Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen took the field Saturday, July 28, for his first day of training camp. How healthy he is remains up for debate. Griffen sat out most of spring drills with a left knee injury but was able to practice Saturday without any sort of wrap. He was hampered in the second half of last season with plantar fascia, although he missed just one game. "I don't know if he's fully healthy or not,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said before the workout at TCO Performance Center. 'If he's out there, he's going to go.''
EAGAN, Minn.—Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano died Sunday from arteriosclerotic heart disease, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office announced Monday. According to the report, Sparano, 56, died at his home in Eden Prairie at 8:54 a.m. Police said Sunday a 911 call came in regarding Sparano at 8:07 a.m. The medical examiner's office said it had no other information to release at this time. ESPN reported Sunday that Sparano went to a hospital Thursday after having chest pain. After undergoing tests, he was released Friday.
EAGAN, Minn.—Rick Spielman was named Vikings general manager in 2012 and selected tackle Matt Kalil with the first draft pick he had in that role. He hasn't taken an offensive lineman in the first round since. Many believe that will change when Minnesota has the No. 30 pick in the NFL draft, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Then again, Spielman isn't ready to rubber-stamp that.
MINNEAPOLIS—Two years ago Wednesday, the Vikings suffered a shocking 10-9 home playoff loss to Seattle. It was a defeat some players prefer to forget, but some simply can't — or won't. For the first time since Blair Walsh missed badly to the left on a 27-yard field-goal attempt in the waning seconds on a minus 6-degree day at TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings are back in the playoffs. They face New Orleans in a divisional game at 3:40 p.m. Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Vikings offensive tackle Tim Irwin is 6 feet 7, 300 pounds, so it's a good fit when he sometimes dresses as Santa Claus during the Christmas season. Irwin, though, doesn't need a Santa suit, and it doesn't even need to be December for him to provide gifts to youth in Knoxville. Irwin, who played right tackle for the Vikings from 1981-93 and was named one of the "50 Greatest Vikings" during the team's 50th season in 2010, has been a Knox County Juvenile Court judge since 2005.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Dalvin Cook was in high school in 2012, but he knows all about how well Adrian Peterson came back from a severe knee injury that season. Now he's hoping to provide another comeback story by a Vikings running back. Cook suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Oct. 1, knocking him out for the rest of the season. The rookie spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since his injury and touched upon Peterson, who suffered a torn ACL in December 2011 and the next season rushed for 2,097 yards and won the NFL's MVP Award.
MINNEAPOLIS—On Sunday, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will put on a uniform and trot out for a game for the first time in 15 months. He can't wait. "Coming out of that locker room and getting that rush and that adrenaline going through my blood and my body, it's a great feeling," Bridgewater said of facing the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, Md.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—If Everson Griffen can get to Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, he'll reach a career milestone. The Vikings defensive end has had at least one sack in all five games this season, tying the longest stretch of his career. The eight-year veteran will try to make it six straight against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS-- After a month of catching passes from Vikings quarterbacks, Michael Floyd will be looking for somebody in the Twin Cities to throw him the ball. The wide receiver will miss the first four games of the regular season because of an NFL suspension following his guilty plea in February to extreme DUI. He will be allowed to attend meetings and use the weight room at Winter Park but can't have any workouts with Minnesota players.
SEATTLE — It will be hard to keep Dalvin Cook out of the starting lineup in Week 1. The Vikings rookie running back carried seven times for 40 yards in Friday night's 20-13 preseason loss to Seattle at CenturyLink Field. He is seeking to replace the departed Adrian Peterson, who will arrive with the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 11 at U.S. Bank Stadium for the first regular-season game. "I'm going to keep enjoying the process and I'll leave it up to the coaches to make that decision,'' Cook said of the starting job.