Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Golden Tate's celebratory flip into the end zone to cap an overtime victory at US Bank Stadium left a bad taste in the Vikings' mouths. Two weeks later, they seem to have let it go. They have bigger issues to motivate them in Thursday's rematch with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. "I don't think a somersault means anything to us at the end of the day," veteran defensive end Brian Robison said. "We're worried about wins and losses; we're not worried about somersaults."
EDEN PRAIRIE—Kai Forbath had to hustle Tuesday to get to Minnesota. Now he plans to stay awhile. The Vikings signed Forbath to replace struggling placekicker Blair Walsh on Wednesday, a day after agreeing to terms — and a day after Walsh was waived by the nose-diving Vikings. "He had a great career here," Forbath said. "I know he did really well for a long time. I'm just here to take one kick at a time, and hopefully be here for a long time."
MINNEAPOLIS — In 2003, the Vikings collapsed. They don't want that to happen again. Since 1990, only five NFL teams have started 5-0 or better and not made the playoffs. They were Atlanta in 2015, Denver and the New York Giants in 2009, New Orleans in 1993 and Minnesota in 2003, which began 6-0 and stumbled to a 9-7 mark. The Vikings this season won their first five games before having dropped their past four. If the playoffs started now, they wouldn't get an invitation.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Monday didn't rule out replacing struggling kicker Blair Walsh. The Vikings auditioned six kickers last week before electing to keep Walsh, who missed an extra-point attempt in Sunday's 26-20 loss at Washington — his fourth PAT miss this season. Zimmer said he was scheduled to meet with general manager Rick Spielman later Monday. Also on the agenda, whether the Vikings might sign a tackle after losing Jake Long (Achilles tendon) for the season on Sunday.
LANDOVER, Md. — Mike Zimmer's postgame speeches to his team lately haven't gone the way one might expect. The no-nonsense Vikings coach apparently hasn't had any tirades. No chalkboards have been broken. Zimmer was said to have continued to accentuate the positive after the Vikings lost 26-20 to Washington on Sunday at FedExField, their fourth straight defeat. Guard Alex Boone wondered if that message is working.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Vikings players have been docked one day of vacation for next year. The Vikings were 5-0 and the only unbeaten team in the NFL when they went into a bye week last month. Coach Mike Zimmer was feeling so good about his team that he held just one practice that week when rules would have allowed two. Since then, Minnesota has dropped three straight games, including a stunning 22-16 overtime loss Sunday to Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—With Blair Walsh struggling, the Vikings have decided to work out kicking prospects Tuesday. Coach Mike Zimmer would not reveal the names of any candidates, but a source said among those coming in will be NFL veterans Randy Bullock and Kai Forbath. Zimmer made it clear Monday why competition is needed. "You haven't been watching all year?" he said.
MINNEAPOLIS — Two of Sam Bradford's best seasons have come with Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator. In 2010, Bradford was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year with St. Louis. In 2015, Bradford resurrected his career with a career-high in passing yards at Philadelphia after two-injury riddled seasons. Shurmur coached him through both seasons. Now, Shurmur and the Vikings quarterback will be working side by side again. The Vikings tight ends coach was promoted to interim offensive coordinator Wednesday after Norv Turner's surprising resignation.
MINNEAPOLIS — Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn expressed concern last month that the Vikings' Oct. 16 bye might sap the momentum generated by a 5-0 start. That's exactly what has happened. The Vikings were the NFL's last undefeated team when they went into their Week 6 bye. Since then, they're 0-2 and have been outscored 41-20 after losing to the lowly Chicago Bears, 20-10, Monday night at Soldier Field. "It's frustrating,'' defensive end Everson Griffen said after the game. "We were 5-0 coming off the bye, bye week you know and ... I don't know.'"
CHICAGO-- Three decades ago, he was known as "L.A. Mike," one of the soloists in the Chicago Bears' famous "Super Bowl Shuffle" video. Now, Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell calls him Mr. Richardson. Mike Richardson played cornerback in the NFL from 1983-89, his first six seasons with Chicago. The highlight of his career was starting for the Bears when they won Super Bowl XX in January 1986.