Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn.—When Vikings first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo spoke to players this week, he pointed the finger at himself. DeFilippo told them he didn't call a good game in Saturday's 14-10 preseason loss to Jacksonville at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings had just 238 yards of total offense after having rolled up 406 in a 42-28 win at Denver the week before in the preseason opener. When DeFilippo met with the media Tuesday, it was more of the same. He was unhappy with his performance.
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings defensive end Ade Aruna is out for the season with a knee injury, but former all-pro player Keith Millard said the 24-year-old rookie needs to turn his recovery period into a positive experience. After tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in the 14-10 preseason loss to Jacksonville at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 18, Aruna was placed on injured reserve Monday. Millard, who starred at defensive tackle for the Vikings from 1985-90 and worked Aruna out in preparation for the NFL draft earlier this year, plans to call Aruna to offer advice.
MINNEAPOLIS — Latavius Murray is hardly known as a fumbler. He coughed up the ball just once last season and just twice in 2016. Plenty changed, though, on Saturday, Aug. 18. The Vikings' running back fumbled twice in the first quarter in a 14-10 loss to Jacksonville in the preseason home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. "I can't do that,'' he said. "I can't turn the ball over.''
MINNEAPOLIS — So much for momentum carrying over on offense for the Vikings. A week after an impressive showing on offense in the preseason opener, Minnesota's first team came out flat Saturday. The defense was generally good, but the Vikings fell 14-10 to Jacksonville at U.S.Bank Stadium in the second exhibition.
ST. PAUL—Laquon Treadwell, the Vikings' first-round draft choice in 2016, caught just 21 passes in his first two NFL seasons. The time has come for the No. 23 overall pick two years ago to start producing. And it seems he might be ready to do just that considering he is having a strong training camp. "Results are coming now," Treadwell said this week. "But I know I haven't arrived technically even though I'm making a lot of plays, scoring a lot of touchdowns and doing a lot of great things (in practice). I know there's a lot to still accomplish and to still achieve."
MINNEAPOLIS — The last time the Vikings played at U.S. Bank Stadium, the "Minnesota Miracle" unfolded. Kirk Cousins was glued to the television at the home of his in-laws in Atlanta and scarcely could believe what he saw. "I was watching and was blown away,'' he said. "The look on my face was probably similar (in disbelief to defensive end) Everson Griffen's or some guys on the field.'' The Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 29-24 in the NFC playoffs last January on Case Keenum's 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs on the final play of the game.
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams was arrested in Edina in May on suspicion of drunken driving and pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving, court records show. The Pioneer Press learned of the arrest Thursday, Aug. 16. The Vikings signed Williams, 25, last September, and he spent the remainder of the season on the practice squad. He re-signed with the team in January, and is listed second on the depth chart at strong-side linebacker behind Anthony Barr. He played in last Saturday's preseason opener at Denver.
EAGAN, Minn. — With Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson in line to play more in his second season in the NFL, he spent much of the offseason lifting weights and working with a nutritionist. Drinking water instead of sports drinks wasn't too much of an ask. But the next step was. "I cut out fast food," Johnson said. "Man, I was definitely a McChicken guy. That was my thing." Johnson said he put on 10 "good" pounds to get up to 300. One reason for that is he will be playing a lot more nose tackle.
EAGAN, Minn.—Anthony Barr hasn't changed his tune about wanting to play for the Vikings long term. "Absolutely," he said Tuesday. Still, it is uncertain if the 26-year-old linebacker, entering the final year of his contract, and the Vikings are close to a contract extension. "I'm just focusing on being here and getting better, so we'll let that figure itself out," Barr said.
EAGAN, Minn.—The Vikings have two Pro Bowl selections in the secondary. Could another one join the party? Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday that Trae Waynes is continuing to improve and there is a way he can become an "elite'' cornerback. The Vikings already have one in Xavier Rhodes and they have a top safety in Harrison Smith.