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Minnesota Vikings
Vikings hire Gary Kubiak as offensive advisor
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 4:32 PM
Adam Schefter on Twitter
Vikings hired Gary Kubiak as an offensive advisor.
Analysis: Gary's son Klint will take over as quarterbacks coach with Kevin Stefanski promoted from interim offensive coordinator to full-time OC. An in-season power struggle is not difficult to envision should the Vikings start slow on Stefanski's watch surrounded by Kubiaks, but it's obviously a risk coach Mike Zimmer is willing to take. Kubiak is a longtime confidante of Mike Shanahan, who drafted Vikings QB Kirk Cousins in Washington.
Brian Bulcke
Vikings make Kevin Stefanski full-time OC
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 11:31 AM
Vikings removed OC Kevin Stefanski's interim tag.
Analysis: Stefanski took over as the interim OC following John DeFilippo's firing in Week 15, and Minnesota went 2-1 over its final three games with point totals of 41, 27, and 10 against the Dolphins, Lions, and Bears. Stefanski installed a more run-heavy game plan as advised by defensive-minded coach Mike Zimmer. Dalvin Cook figures to be a big beneficiary of this hiring, while Kirk Cousins will have to be extremely efficient to be any sort of reliable fantasy quarterback in 2019.
Brian Bulcke
Stefanski getting second Browns interview
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 1:30 PM
Ben Goessling on Twitter
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski is being interviewed a second time for the Browns' head-coaching vacancy on Tuesday.
Analysis: That is certainly indicative of a serious candidate. Buzz has been rising Tuesday that the Browns are leaning toward promoting OC Freddie Kitchens, but they are not going to do so without due diligence on at least one other candidate. Stefanski could still end up remaining in Minnesota to coordinate the offense.
Brian Bulcke
Stefanski still candidate for Vikes OC job
Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 12:17 PM
Ian Rapoport on Twitter's Ian Rapoport reports Vikings interim OC Kevin Stefanski remains a candidate for the permanent job.
Brian Bulcke
Bucs request to interview George Edwards
Tue, Jan 1, 2019, 7:18 AM
Tom Pelissero on Twitter
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports the Buccaneers have requested to interview Vikings DC George Edwards for their head coaching vacancy.
Brian Bulcke
Vikes OC Stefanski HC candidate in Cleveland
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 1:06 PM
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski will interview for the Browns' head-coaching vacancy.
Analysis: Stefanski served as the Vikes' coordinator for the final three games of the season after a desperate Mike Zimmer summarily sacked John DeFilippo. Only 36, Stefanski had never coordinated an offense before December. He has been a Vikings assistant since 2006.
Brian Bulcke
Vikings HC Zimmer expected to stick around
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 7:51 AM
Tom Pelissero on Twitter
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports Mike Zimmer is expected to remain with the Vikings in 2019.
Analysis: Zimmer told Pelissero he is "not retiring or resigning," and Pelissero reports multiple sources would "be shocked" if the coach is fired. Zimmer's contract only runs through 2019, so he will likely get a short-term extension this offseason to prevent him from being a lame-duck coach. Even so, he will be on the hot seat if the Vikings do not reach the playoffs in 2019.
Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph has faded red-zone role in 2018
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:43 PM
Kyle Rudolph caught 4-of-5 targets for 19 yards Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: Rudolph was a non-factor after blowing up for 122 yards and two touchdowns last week. Despite managing the second most yards (636) of his career, 2018 was a major step back for Rudolph, who had just two touchdowns outside of a fluky Week 16. Rudolph could see his more red-zone looks next year, but his snaps could take a hit with fifth-round TE Tyler Conklin a candidate for a larger role.
Laquon Treadwell
Laquon Treadwell disappoints again in 2018
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:38 PM
Laquon Treadwell had one catch for seven yards Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: Treadwell was only active with Chad Beebe sidelined. He closes out another disappointing season with 35/302/1 line, failing to make a third-year leap behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. It won't be surprising if the Vikings eat $2.5 million in dead money to move on from Treadwell this offseason.
Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen ends season on rough note
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:34 PM
Adam Thielen caught 3-of-4 passes for 38 yards Week 17 againt Chicago.
Analysis: It ends a record-setting year for Thielen, who had eight straight 100-yard games to open the season. Thielen finished with 113 catches, 1,373 yards, and nine touchdowns - all career highs. One of the premier receivers in the league, Thielen dominates at the short to intermediate levels that are highlighted in a Kirk Counsins offense. With Cousins and the Vikings entire suppring cast returning, Thielen has a good chance to repeat his numbers in 2019.
Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs posts first 1,000 yard season
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:27 PM
Stefon Diggs caught 8-of-10 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: Diggs went over 1,000 yards on the season. It was another step forward for Diggs, who also set career highs in catches (102). Diggs plays second fiddle to Adam Thielen, but there's enough volume in Minnesota's passing attack for him to see his role continue to grow in 2019. Diggs is one of the top-20 wideouts in the league.
Latavius Murray
Latavius Murray: 578 yards, six TDs in 2018
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:20 PM
Latavius Murray had 18 yards on two carries Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: Murray was called on to start six games this year with Dalvin Cook injured. He improved on his middling 2017, rushing for 578 yards (4.1 YPC) and leading Minnesota with six rushing touchdowns. Murray is signed though next season, so he should be back as insurance for Cook. He'll remain one of the league's top handcuffs.
Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook closes out injury-prone year
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 7:15 PM
Dalvin Cook rushed 11 times for 39 yards and caught four passes for 21 yards Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: It closes out another injury-prone for Cook, who appeared in just 11 games. Cook was productive when healthy, rushing for 615 yards (4.6 YPC) and four total touchdowns, but he's raised serious concerns about his durability going forward. The Vikings offense line was a low point in 2017, so Cook could get a boot with a few offseason additions. Cook has 1,000 yard back potential if he can stay on the field for a full season.
Kirk Cousins
Cousins, Vikings fall short of postseason
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 6:50 PM
Kirk Cousins completed 20-of-33 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' Week 17 loss to Chicago.
Analysis: Cousins faceplanted in a must-win game, eliminating the Vikings from playoff contention. It a disappointment given Minnesota's talent, though Cousins had been showing signs of breaking down throughout the second half of the season. His first year in Minnesota still goes down as a success, with Cousins completing over 70 percent of his passes for 4,298 yards and a 30:10 TD/INT ratio. Cousins will return with his full supporting cast in 2019.
Xavier Rhodes
Vikings without CB Xavier Rhodes for Week 17
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 1:59 PM
Xavier Rhodes (groin) is inactive for Week 17 against Chicago.
Analysis: It's a downgrade for the Vikings in a must-win game. Holton Hill will start in place of Rhodes. The rest of the Vikings inactives are LB Eric Kendricks, KR Marcus Sherels, FB C.J. Ham, WR Chad Beebe, QB Kyle Sloter and DE Tashawn Bower.
Xavier Rhodes
Xavier Rhodes questionable to face Chicago
Fri, Dec 28, 2018, 12:36 PM
Chris Tomasson on Twitter
Xavier Rhodes (groin) is questionable for Week 17 against the Bears.
Analysis: He returned to practice on Friday, putting him on track to suit up Sunday against Chicago. Rhodes has underperformed this year but was one of the league's top corners last season, earning All-Pro status for the first time.
Xavier Rhodes
Xavier Rhodes does not practice Thursday
Thu, Dec 27, 2018, 11:24 AM
Chris Tomasson on Twitter
Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes (groin) did not practice Thursday.
Analysis: LB Eric Kendricks (hamstring) is also out for the second day in a row. Rhodes has fought through injury all season, and it seems likely he is out there for a must-win game this weekend. Even so, his status cannot be taken for granted.
Xavier Rhodes
Xavier Rhodes (groin) sidelined Wednesday
Wed, Dec 26, 2018, 5:06 PM
Andrew Krammer on Twitter
Xavier Rhodes (groin) didn't practice on Wednesday.
Analysis: The injury limited Rhodes to just 64 percent of the team's snaps in Week 16. He's clearly operating at less than 100 percent, though it would ultimately be a surprise if Rhodes sat out Sunday's must-win game against Chicago. Rhodes was an All-Pro in 2017 but he's taken a noticeable step back this season, holding PFF's No. 108 coverage grade out of 120 qualifiers at cornerback.
Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph goes off for 122 yards, two TDs
Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 4:07 PM
Kyle Rudolph caught nine passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' Week 16 win over the Lions.
Analysis: Both are season highs for Rudolph, who's been a non-factor most of the year. One of Rudolph's touchdowns came on a 44-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half. With Darius Slay locking down Stefon Diggs, Rudolph led the Vikings in both receiving and targets. It's an overdue breakout for Rudolph, but he'll remain just a TD-dependent TE2 for Week 17 against Chicago.
Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen rebounds with 80-yard game
Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 4:03 PM
Adam Thielen caught 5-of-6 targets for 80 yards Week 16 against the Lions.
Analysis: It's a solid rebound after getting held to two catches last week. Thielen had been trending down with under 30 yards in two of the last three games. He was able to find some success with Darius Slay following Stefon Diggs, though didn't have any highlights. Thielen will be more of a WR2 for Week 17 against Chicago.