Shark Bites

The Vikings deemed S Harrison Smith questionable for Sunday's game against the Lions after he put in 2 days of limited practice on his sprained ankle.  Smith appears on track to play, and the 1 p.m. ET kickoff means we'll get official word in time to set lineups.  OLB Chad Greenway is doubtful because of a rib injury, though HC Mike Zimmer wasn't ready to commit Friday to Greenway's status.  "He did a little bit of work today, so we'll see how it goes, how he is tomorrow," Zimmer said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  IDP owners should plan on not having Greenway available.  The Vikings D makes for an upside option overall on daily sites against a Detroit offense that's down WR Calvin Johnson and RB Reggie Bush and has allowed a lot of sacks the past 2 weeks.

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The Vikings reached deals Thursday with 2 veteran NFL CBs.  First, former Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn joined up on a 3-year deal that could be worth $15 million.  Then came former Chargers and Jaguars CB Derek Cox.  Munnerlyn's a fiery player who delivered solid play in Carolina as a starter for most of the past 3 years.  Cox built a strong reputation for his coverage in Jacksonville but then busted as a free-agent signee in San Diego.  Considering the weakness of Minnesota's corners, both could be upgrades for the Vikes.  The team also returns 2013 first-rounder Xavier Rhodes.  Neither Munnerlyn nor Cox will sit prominently in our 2014 IDP rankings. 

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The Vikings have hired Norv Turner as their new OC.  He'll run the offense under defensive-minded HC Mike Zimmer.  Turner has had mixed results as a HC but is highly-regarded as a play-caller.  He helped Browns WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron to breakout seasons this past year.  Turner favors a run-first attack and a vertical passing game.  He also likes to get his TEs involved in the aerial attack.  His arrival is good news for RB Adrian Peterson, WR Cordarrelle Patterson and TE Kyle Rudolph.  Of course, Minnesota still needs to find an answer at TE.

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The Vikings have hired Mike Zimmer as their new HC, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  Long regarded as a promising HC candidate, Zimmer has spent the past 14 years coordinating defenses -- 7 in Dallas, 1 in Atlanta and the past 6 in Cincinnati.  The Bengals finished in the top half of the league in total defense in all 6 of Zimmer's seasons, including 4 top-7 finishes.  We'll see who he brings in to run the offense.

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9 months ago

The Vikings have fired HC Leslie Frazier.  Minnesota went 10-6 and reached the playoffs last year, but Frazier was 11-26 in his other 3 seasons.  He botched the QB situation this year, switching between Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.  The Vikings will have a new HC -- and very likely a new QB -- when the 2014 season kicks off.

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The Vikings "will take the next 12 weeks" to evaluate their QB situation heading into 2014, according to insider Albert Breer.  Minnesota seems ready to throw in the towel on Christian Ponder.  Matt Cassel isn't a long-term solution.  Josh Freeman will get his audition soon.  If that doesn't go well, the Vikings will be in the market for a QB this offseason.  The 2014 draft class is loaded at the position.

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Vikings DE Jared Allen proved his Tuesday ankle issue wasn't serious by returning to practice Wednesday morning.  Allen rolled his left ankle late in Tuesday's workout but appears to be fine.  Meanwhile, 2 other defenders -- rookie CB Xavier Rhodes and LB Desmond Bishop -- are returning more slowly from hamstring injuries.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that both will do some light work Wednesday afternoon but that each is unlikely to play in Friday night's preseason opener.

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The Vikings will be without both CB Antoine Winfield and CB Chris Cook for Sunday's game against the Packers.  Winfield is still out with a neck injury, while Cook won't play after being arrested for domestic assault early Saturday morning.  CB Asher Allen is expected to move into the starting lineup alongside Cedric Griffin, while undrafted free-agent Marcus Sherels will step into the #3 CB spot.  QB Aaron Rodgers should have a field day against this undermanned secondary.

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The Vikings have removed the "interim" tag from Leslie Frazier's title, naming him the organization's head coach.  Frazier went 3-2 to close out the 2010 season after taking over for Brad Childress.  The move is good news for RB Adrian Peterson.  Frazier is a defensive-minded coach who loves to pound the ball on offense. 

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With the Metrodome still out of commission, Monday night's game between the Vikings and Bears will be played outdoors at the University of Minnesota's new TCF Bank Stadium.  The facility was winterized a few weeks ago, and there's concern that the field will still be frozen by kickoff.  Add in a forecast calling for wind chills at 18 below zero, and this obviously isn't a good situation for the passing games.

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This week’s Vikings-Giants game has been moved to Detroit’s Ford Field. Kickoff is set for 7:20 pm ET on Monday. It’s good news for the G-Men, as they won’t need to deal with the raucous Metrodome crowd.

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The Metrodome roof collapsed this morning due to snow build-up.  The NFL is discussing contingency plans right now in case the facility is not available for tomorrow night's game between the Vikings and Giants.  Stay tuned...

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