Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — The last time a Vikings quarterback was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the season went pretty well. That was in 2009, when Brett Favre won the award twice, and the Vikings made it to the NFC championship game. Sam Bradford picked up the honor Wednesday, Sept. 13, for his lights-out performance in Monday night's 29-19 season-opening victory over New Orleans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and a career-high passer rating of 143.0.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Defenses supposedly are going to pay closer attention to Adam Thielen after his breakout 2016 season. If the New Orleans Saints did Monday night, it didn't work. The Vikings wide receiver caught nine passes for 157 yards in a 29-19 win over the Saints in the opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. For Thielen, it was the second-best showing of his career in both categories.
MINNEAPOLIS — There had been plenty of questions about the Vikings' offensive line, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs decided to pose one himself to the media. "You guys always have nice things to say about them, right?" Diggs said after Minnesota opened the season with a resounding 29-19 win over New Orleans on Monday, Sept. 11, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Vikings on Monday, Sept. 11, reached an injury settlement with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, likely ending his time this season with the team. Heinicke, recovering from a mild concussion and a strained right oblique muscle, was released off injured reserve. While the Vikings have moved on by signing quarterback Kyle Sloter to the practice squad, there still exists a chance Heinicke could return to the team this season if there are unforeseen circumstances.
MINNEAPOLIS—Before their Monday, Sept. 11, season opener against the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings will show a video with highlights of Randy Moss' career. There will be plenty of clips of the Ring of Honor inductee hauling in long passes. Fans then will see if the 2017 Vikings can come up with any such plays of their own. At the start of training camp, quarterback Sam Bradford said the Vikings needed more "explosive plays," including getting "the ball downfield a little more."
MINNEAPOLIS—In previous years, the Vikings often have elected their captains by a vote of players. This season, the choice was made by head coach Mike Zimmer. Selected as captains by Zimmer were quarterback Sam Bradford, tight end Kyle Rudolph, tackle Riley Reiff, defensive ends Everson Griffen and Brian Robison and cornerback Terence Newman. That's three on offense and three on defense. Rudolph, Griffen and Robison are holdover captains from last season.
MINNEAPOLIS—Vikings general manager Rick Spielman does plenty of research on draft prospects. When it came to center Pat Elflein, some of the information Spielman got was from his niece. Spielman's brother, former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman, lives in Columbus, Ohio. His daughter, Maddie, was roommates at Ohio State with Emily Lachey—Elflein's girlfriend—and took classes there with Elflein. When Spielman asked his brother about Elflein's character, he relayed what he had heard from Maddie.
MINNEAPOLIS—Aviante Collins finally has a sports accomplishment that matches up well with what members of his family have done. The offensive tackle was one of three undrafted rookies to make the Vikings' 53-man roster, joining defensive end Tawhawn Bower and linebacker Eric Wilson.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said in a radio interview Friday, Sept. 8 that guard Alex Boone was released because he was out of shape. The Vikings let Boone go when they cut the roster down to 53 players last Saturday, paying him $3.4 million in guaranteed money on his $6.6 million deal for 2017.
MINNEAPOLIS — Laquon Treadwell hasn't felt this way since the days leading up to Jan. 1, 2016. That's when Treadwell was getting ready for Mississippi to face Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl. Treadwell caught six passes for 71 yards in his final college game, a 48-20 Rebels victory.