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The Chicago Bears have already been without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, and they may be without Brian Urlacher and Marion Barber on Sunday when they close out their injury riddled season against the Minnesota Vikings. Urlacher missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday with a knee injury and Barber did not practice again due to a calf injury.
The good news is that Devin Hester (ankle) was a full participant on Thursday after being limited yesterday. Julius Peppers also returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday's due to a non-injury related matter.
Here is the full injury report for the Chicago Bears:
Did not participate
Did not participate
Did not participate
Did not participate
Not injury related
Did not participate
Did not participate
Did not participate
As of this morning, it was being reported that quarterback Christian Ponder would start this weekend in the Vikings' season finale against the Chicago Bears. Well, he was a full participant in practice on Thursday, which should bolster that possibility. That has to be disappointing news for Joe Webb, who led the VIkes to a win last week against the Washington Redskins, despite having to deal with the team losing its star running back Adrian Peterson for the season with a torn ACL.
Here is the full injury report for the Vikings:
|Allen, Asher||CB||Shoulder / Concussion||FP||FP||-||-|
|Cook, Chris||CB||Not Injury Related||Out||Out||-||-|
|Herrera, Anthony||G||Lower Back||DNP||LP||-||-|
Christian Ponder was knocked from Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins, but has passed all the necessary tests this week and is expected to start the regular season finale against the Chicago Bears. it was rumored that Joe Webb would possibly get his first start of the season after leading Minnesota to a win, but it appears now that the rookie Ponder will start:
Ponder has passed all the necessary tests and is ready to come back for more against Chicago on Sunday. Ponder saw a neurologist on Tuesday and was cleared to play, so he will start in the season finale.
"I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests so maybe I got some sense knocked into me," Ponder deadpanned on Wednesday after returning to practice.
Webb was 4 of 5 for only 84 yards against the Redskins, but two of his passes went for touchdowns to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph. Webb also rushed for 34 yards and a touchdowns ans Minnesota broke a six game losing streak in a come from behind win.
The Minnesota Vikings can no longer get the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by virtue of their win over the Washington Redskins in Week 16; the Vikes would lose (win?) tiebreakers against the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams if all three teams finished at 3-13. But all is not lost for Minnesota: the Vikings could still secure the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, and will fall no further than sixth.
Daily Norseman Christopher Gates breaks down Vikings' No. 2 pick scenario:
Obviously, if the Vikings lose on Sunday to the Chicago Bears, they can select no worse than third. If the Rams win and the Vikings lose, then it would appear that the Vikings would leapfrog the Rams based on strength of schedule and wind up with the second spot. However, the Rams are going to be facing a San Francisco 49ers team that is still fighting for the second overall seed in the NFC and a first-round playoff bye, so that's a pretty tall order. With all due respect to our friends at Turf Show Times, I wouldn't anticipate a St. Louis victory on Sunday.
For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head to Daily Norseman.
The Minnesota Vikings spent their first round draft pick on Christian Ponder last year, but the team's past couple of games are apparently making the coaching staff re-think that decision. The reason being, of course, that Joe Webb may have been the quarterback of the future all along.
Webb was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but has been looked at as more of a gadget guy who can provide different looks rather than a prototypical quarterback. His ability to lead a second Vikings comeback in as many appearances has apparently made head coach Leslie Frazier re-think that, however, according to statements made to 1500 ESPN.
"Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it," Frazier said after Webb led three touchdown drives in relief of injured Christian Ponder and the Vikings beat the Washington Redskins 33-26.
"It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team. He's done it. He did it a season ago as well."
Few fans will be happy if Webb earns the starting spot over Ponder heading into next season -- though that'll be more due to the drafting of Ponder than the starting of Webb -- but it'll be worth keeping an eye on as Minnesota continues looking forward to next season.
The Minnesota Vikings were battered all over FedEx Field on Christmas Eve against the Washington Redskins. On consecutive plays in the third quarter, they lost running back Adrian Peterson to a horrific leg injury, and then lost Christian Ponder to a concussion. However, as they have done for most of the season, they fought all the way through to the end, and managed to come away with a 33-26 victory behind the arm (and legs) of Joe Webb and the running of Toby Gerhart.
The Vikings got off to an early ten-point lead in this one, thanks to a 36-yard Ryan Longwell field goal that came after a strip-sack of Rex Grossman by defensive end Brian Robison and a 1-yard touchdown run by Adrian Peterson on the first play of the second quarter.
However, following the Peterson touchdown run, Ryan Longwell put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, and the Redskins took advantage of the good field position to score a touchdown, putting together a 60-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard pass from Grossman to Donte Stallworth. The Redskins tied it up just before halftime with a 26-yard field goal from Graham Gano, sending the teams into the locker room tied at ten.
The Vikings got the ball first in the second half, and that's when all hell broke loose for the Vikings. On Minnesota's first offensive play, Peterson took a handoff, ran up the middle, and was tackled by Washington's DeJon Gomes. Peterson did not get up, and was writhing in pain on the field. He eventually needed to be helped off the field, unable to put any weight at all on his left leg. It looked like a pretty horrific knee injury, but we don't know the extent of it yet. Once we have word on the injury, we will bring you word of it. Peterson is set to have an MRI on his injured knee this evening, according to Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier.
Then, on the next play, quarterback Christian Ponder dropped back to pass and absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit from Redskins' defensive lineman Barry Cofield. Ponder managed to stay in for one more play, but was then taken to the locker room for a concussion, and did not return to the game. He absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first quarter from safety Reed Doughty as well, but did not miss any action as a result of that one.
That meant that it was up to Joe Webb and Toby Gerhart to rally the troops, and that's exactly what they did. After a 53-yard field goal from Gano that gave the Redskins a 13-10 lead, Gerhart took a handoff from Webb and streaked 67 yards down the left sideline, finally being pushed out of bounds at the Washington 8. Two plays later, Webb took a snap on an option play and kept it himself for a 9-yard touchdown run to give Minnesota a 17-13 lead.
The action really picked up from there, as the Redskins responded with another touchdown of their own, as Grossman led Washington down the field again and ended a drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Grossman to Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney beat Benny Sapp and made an outstanding one-handed catch on the play, despite Sapp having pretty good coverage. That play gave the Redskins the lead back at 20-17.
Toby Gerhart wasn't having any of that, however, as he rumbled for 22 yards on two carries to start Minnesota's next drive, including a 14-yard blast on 3rd-and-1 to get the Vikings to midfield. A 31-yard end-around from Percy Harvin followed, and two plays later Webb found rookie tight end Kyle Rudolph in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown catch. Unfortunately, Longwell's rough day continued as he missed the extra point wide to the right, and the Vikings' lead stayed at 23-20.
The Redskins then followed up with another Gano field goal to tie the score at 23, and Joe Webb went to work again, leading the Vikings on a 72-yard scoring drive. He made a huge throw to Percy Harvin to gain 36 yards on 3rd-and-10, and then hit Devin Aromashodu for 19 yards to follow that up. Two plays later, Webb found Harvin again for an 8-yard touchdown pass, and the Vikings were back on top by a count of 30-23.
And then. . .the unthinkable happened.
On a 2nd-and-10 play from the Washington 32, Grossman dropped back to pass, and overthrew Santana Moss, landing the ball right into the breadbasket of Vikings' rookie safety Mistral Raymond for an interception. It was the first pass intercepted by a Minnesota Vikings' player in over thirty-nine quarters of football. If you add up all of the game time that elapsed between those two occurrences, it would total nine hours, fifty-two minutes, and thirty seconds of football between interceptions for the Vikings.
The Vikings converted the turnover into a 23-yard Ryan Longwell field goal to take a 33-23 lead. The Redskins got a 47-yard field goal from Gano to cut the lead to 33-26, and the Redskins got themselves into position for a Hail Mary at the end, but Raymond batted the pass down, and the Vikings escaped with the victory.
The victory for the Vikings officially eliminates them from consideration for the top overall pick in the National Football League draft. They can still finish 3-13 and tie with the Indianapolis Colts, but the Colts would "win" any strength of schedule tiebreaker with the Vikings, so the best the Vikings can do is the second overall selection.
In happier news, Jared Allen collected a sack of Rex Grossman this afternoon, giving him a total of 18.5 on the season. While it appears that Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5 is out of reach, Chris Doleman's Vikings' record of 21 (the third-highest single-season total in NFL history) might be attainable in the season finale against the Chicago Bears.
Gerhart put together the first 100-yard performance of his career, carrying the ball 11 times for 109 yards on the afternoon. Webb finished the afternoon with four completions in five attempts for 84 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to five carries for 34 yards and another score. The Vikings were +2 in the takeaway/giveaway ratio in this one, as they did not turn the ball over this afternoon, and the six points they turned those turnovers into played a big role in Minnesota's victory.
The Vikings will finish the season on New Year's Day at the Metrodome against the Chicago Bears and, in the process, attempt to avoid finishing in a tie with the 1984 Minnesota Vikings for the worst record in franchise history. The 1984 team went 3-13, and a victory on January 1 would help the Vikings to avoid that fate.
The Minnesota Vikings had not intercepted a pass since Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals, when Jamarca Sanford picked off Arizona Cardinals' backup Richard Bartell on the Cardinals' final offense play of Minnesota's Week Five victory.
That is, they hadn't intercepted a pass since then. . .until just a few minutes ago.
The Vikings ended a streak of 298 consecutive pass attempts faced without an interception. . .a streak that encompassed an NFL record nine games (not to mention three-fourths of a tenth game). . .when Rex Grossman dropped back to pass, missed Santana Moss, and found rookie safety Mistral Raymond in the fourth quarter of this afternoon's game. Raymond took the ball into Washington territory, and the Vikings converted another Ryan Longwell field goal from there to make the score 33-23 in favor of the Vikings.
The Redskins are driving, and we are at the two-minute warning at FedEx Field on what can be described as a truly up-and-down day for the Vikings' faithful.
Congratulations to rookie safety Mistral Raymond on his first National Football League interception, and for ending one of the most ridiculous streaks in Minnesota Vikings' history.
UPDATE: The Redskins have just kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 33-26, with an onside kick almost certainly coming next.
The Minnesota Vikings might have a quarterback controversy going into 2012. . .but rather than being between Christian Ponder and Andrew Luck, it might just be between Christian Ponder. . .and Joe Webb.
Webb has taken the Vikings to their third touchdown in as many drives, giving the Vikings a 30-23 lead in response to a field goal that had tied the game for the Washington Redskins.
It took the Vikings six plays to move 72 yards, half of which came on a big third down throw from Joe Webb to Percy Harvin for 36 yards on a 3rd-and-10 play. After that, Webb found Devin Aromashodu for a 23-yard gain, and two plays later found Harvin in the right flat again, and Harvin did the rest for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Webb is now 4-for-5 passing for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and also has a touchdown run since coming in to relieve a concussed Christian Ponder.
Time is winding down in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the Washington Redskins by a score of 30-23.
We can barely keep up with the action here, folks, but we're doing the best we can.
Gerhart had two carries on the drive for 22 yards, including a 14-yard blast on 3rd-and-1 to keep the drive going. After that play, Percy Harvin took an end around and sprinted for 31 yards into the Washington red zone at the 19-yard line. A couple of plays later, Joe Webb found Kyle Rudolph in the end zone from 17 yards out to give the Vikings a 23-20 lead.
Yes, Rudolph scores on Christmas Eve. This material writes itself, folks.
Unfortunately, that's where the score stayed, as Ryan Longwell missed the extra point attempt, so the Vikings have a three-point lead over the Redskins instead of a four-point lead.
The Redskins are driving again as the third quarter winds down, but the Vikings are back in the lead by a score of 23-20.
As the Minnesota Vikings are wont to do, they managed to follow up a great series with terrible special teams play, as they followed Joe Webb's latest touchdown run by allowing Washington Redskins return man Brandon Banks to return the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Minnesota 43-yard line.
It didn't take the Redskins long from there, as they took seven plays to get the ball into the end zone. The scoring play was a 4-yard pass from Rex Grossman to Jabar Gaffney on what can only be described as a great catch by Gaffney. Benny Sapp had great coverage on the Redskins' wide receiver, but Gaffney made an outstanding one-handed catch when Grossman put the ball in the only spot Sapp couldn't reach.
So, as quickly as Minnesota got the lead, they've given it back to the Redskins, but they are driving again with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Vikings trail the Redskins, 20-17.
The Vikings have lost Adrian Peterson for the season. . .and maybe longer. . .after a nasty leg injury, but his replacement has not been deterred.
Check out the career-long 67-yard run by Toby Gerhart on Minnesota's most recent possession.
Gerhart isn't necessarily known for his speed or anything like that, and it looked like the Redskins' defense might have been taking a breather knowing that Adrian Peterson was not lined up in the backfield.
Whatever the reason was, it set up a 9-yard touchdown run for Joe Webb two plays later, and it gave the Vikings a 17-13 lead. . .temporarily. The Redskins have just answered with another score, and we'll have all of the details on that one for you momentarily.
The Minnesota Vikings are losing bodies left and right, but they're certainly not going down yet.
After losing Adrian Peterson to a brutal left knee injury and Christian Ponder to a concussion, the Vikings set up shop at their own 25-yard line. Then, we got a surprise screening of The Replacements, as Toby Gerhart took a handoff from Joe Webb and jetted off for a 67-yard run down to the Redskins' 8-yard line. Two plays later, Webb took a snap, played the option game with Gerhart, and found his way into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a 17-13 lead.
(Sorry, with all the injury updates and everything, we missed Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal that gave the Redskins a 13-10 lead. Momentarily.)
So, the action is suddenly fast and furious at FedEx field, and with about ten minutes left in the third quarter the Vikings hold a 17-13 lead over the Washington Redskins.
Bad news for the Minnesota Vikings in their game against the Washington Redskins. The result of the game has suddenly become horribly insignificant, that is to say, if the injury to running back Adrian Peterson ends up as bad as it looked. Peterson went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, and if you're going to look at it, keep in mind that it's not for the faint of heart.
It certainly looks like something is broken. Peterson went down, and was carted to the locker room for further examination. There's no official word on his status, but you can bet it will be quite a bit worse than "questionable." Peterson has been banged up with an ankle sprain for the last few weeks, but this is clearly far worse than that.
For the most part, it's too early to speculate, but folks have to hope that it won't keep Peterson out of, say, next season. Below is an animated .gif of the injury.
Just when you didn't think it could get a whole lot worse for the Minnesota Vikings, it did.
On the play after Adrian Peterson appeared to suffer a nasty knee injury, Christian Ponder was sacked on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Redskins' defensive tackle Barry Cofield. After the play, Ponder was taken back to the locker room, likely to be checked for a concussion, because the shot he took was a pretty big one.
This follows a shot that he took in the first quarter from Redskins' safety Reed Doughty as he tried to slide after a quarterback scramble. Doughty was penalized on the play, and the Vikings scored a touchdown as a result.
The Vikings and Redskins are still tied at ten with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter of play at FedEx Field. At this point, we're just going to stop asking if it can get any worse, because every time we ask it, it seems that it does.
The Vikings scored the first ten points of the game, courtesy of a 38-yard Ryan Longwell field goal that had been set up by a strip/sack of Rex Grossman by Brian Robison in the first quarter and a 1-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run to start the second. The Redskins then responded with ten of their own thanks to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Grossman to Donte Stallworth (on a drive that started after Longwell put a kickoff out of bounds) and a 26-yard Graham Gano field goal late in the first half.
Jared Allen has registered a sack of Rex Grossman, giving him 18.5 for the season. That means he's 2.5 behind Chris Doleman for the Vikings' single-season record, and 4 behind Michael Strahan's all-time NFL record for a single season. Adrian Peterson has 35 carries on 11 yards, which means that he is now 71 yards away from setting the Vikings' all-time career rushing record. He trailed Robert Smith by 106 yards going into today's action.
After starting the game 1-for-5, Grossman has completed 9-of-16 for 118 yards and a score, and the Vikings have now played 38 straight quarters of football without an interception. Christian Ponder has completed 8-of-12 passes for 68 yards, including a great throw and catch to Greg Camarillo. That set up a 4th-and-1, and after imploring the coaches to go for it on the sidelines, Peterson false started on a play that looked like it would have gained a first down, and Longwell missed a field goal from 49 yards out.
We're at halftime, folks, with the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins tied at 10.
Starting from their own 40-yard line, the Redskins moved the ball 60 yards in seven plays, concluding with a five yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to Donte Stallworth for a touchdown. It appeared that the ball may have popped out before Stallworth scored, but replay confirmed the touchdown, and the Vikings' lead is now just three points.
The Vikings have now allowed 26 touchdown passes since their last interception, and are in the middle of their 38th consecutive quarter of football without an interception.
With 10:46 left in the first half in the nation's capital, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Washington Redskins by a score of 10-7 on this Christmas Eve. Keep it right here for all the most recent updates on this one.
It looked like the Redskins had the Vikings stopped on their most recent drive, but an offsides penalty on a 4th-and-4 allowed the Vikings to keep the ball when it looked like they would have to punt it away. A couple of plays later, a sliding Christian Ponder took a really, really cheap helmet-to-helmet hit from Washington safety Reed Doughty, and the Minnesota drive continued.
Eventually, on the first play of the second quarter, Minnesota gave the ball to Adrian Peterson, and he scored his first touchdown since finding the end zone against the Oakland Raiders prior to his injury, and the Vikings increased their lead to 10-0.
Ryan Longwell then put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, so the Redskins start out with good field position. But, as it stands now, the Vikings lead the Redskins by a score of 10-0 with fourteen minutes left in the first half.
The two teams exchanged punts to start the game, and on Washington's second drive, defensive end Brian Robison got some heavy pressure on Rex Grossman, stripping him of the football and falling on it at the Washington 20-yard line, putting the Vikings in business.
And then, the Vikings' offense being what it is, they managed to gain three yards on three plays (two Adrian Peterson carries and an incomplete pass to Peterson), and settled for a 36-yard Ryan Longwell field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Grossman has looked pretty terrible against the Vikings' defense thus far, completing just one of his first five passes and hitting safety Jamarca Sanford in the chest with a pass. Naturally, the pass hit the turf, as the Vikings are still in the midst of an NFL-record interception drought.
But, with a little more than seven minutes left in the first quarter of play, the Redskins take over at their own 20-yard line, trailing the Minnesota Vikings 3-0.
The Washington Redskins hoped to host the Minnesota Vikings in relative good health, especially when you consider that in week 16 of the NFL, few players are what most normal people would consider healthy.
The only question marks heading into Sunday were running back Roy Helu and offensive tackle Jammal Brown. Unfortunately for Washington, Helu will not be able to go with his name appearing on the Redskins' inactive list. Helu has emerged as a reliable back for the Redskins, so his absence will be felt by the offense as backup Evan Royster will start and pick up Helu's workload for the Washington running game.
Jammal Brown will be available for the Redskins to help create some running room for Royster and back up Ryan Torain. Here is the full inactive list for Washington.
#Redskins inactives for #Vikings game: RB Helu, LB White, OL Cook, TE Myers, WR Anderson, DE Worthington, DE Balmer
The Minnesota Vikings continue playing through injuries, with key offensvie players Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson battling through a hip and ankle injury, respectively to bolster the Minnesota offense. Both players will be available again this week, but they will be missing a key part of their supporting cast.
The Vikings will be short one key weapon on the offensive line which won't make things any easier on Peterson. Veteran guard Steve Hutchinson has been ruled out while recovering from concussion symptoms.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson returned to the field last week to contribute 60 yards rushing on just 10 carries. Considering he felt he was less than 100 percent fit to play, Peterson was pretty productive on limited touches.
So with heavy fantasy football ramifications for week 16, Peterson's fantasy owners will hope AP gets more touches against the Washington Redskins to help deliver a fantasy championship. Peterson remains dinged up while dealing with the high-ankle sprain that has slowed him down for the last few weeks.
The Redskins' run defense ranks 15th in the NFL but has played well of late. But the key for Peterson will be the number of touches he can get in the game. Aside from his balky ankle, Peterson's legs should be fresh and ready for as much action as the ankle can handle and if that includes a trip to the end zone, fantasy owners will be happy.
Fantasy owners should find some positives in AP's projections for the week. According to numberFire, Peterson projects to roughly double his touches from last week with 17.33 carries for 78.40 yards and 2.11 receptions for 18.50 yards with 0.65 touchdowns. Last week, Peterson was shut out of the passing game, so if his carries approach 20 and he catches a couple of balls out of the backfield, there will be plenty of chances to big plays which could deliver a nice contribution for fantasy owners.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder may not be the ideal start for fantasy owners looking to win their league championship based on today's action. But in some cases, Ponder may be the only option and if so, at least the rookie quarterback will be plenty motivated to put his recent struggles behind him and remind the Vikings and their fans that his future remains promising.
A hip injury has hampered Ponder the past few weeks as he's struggled to stay on the field or play well enough to merit staying on the field. But suddenly, the Vikings are thrust into contention for the top pick in the next NFL Draft which means Ponder might look over his shoulder and see a vision of Andrew Luck on the sideline.
A Minnesota win will quiet the Luck chatter so don't expect Ponder to comply with any desires fans may have for the Vikings to roll over against the Redskins on Sunday to remain in contention for to top pick. Ponder will have to exceed expectations from fantasy projections to make that happen, though. According the the numberFire, Ponder projects to complete 17.20 of 29.22 passes for 198.91 yards with 1.04 touchdowns and 0.92 interceptions.
Those numbers wouldn't be a bad starting point for Ponder against the Redskins and if he exceeds those expectations and gets some help from the running game, the Vikings should be in position to win their third game of the season.
For more on the Vikings, check out the Daily Norseman.
The Minnesota Vikings injury report for Week 16 is important mostly because they could potentially end up with the top pick in next year's draft with a loss this weekend against the Washington Redskins. The team has said before they'd rather play for pride than tank for a better pick, but the injury report obviously plays a part.
The Vikings aren't exactly banged up this weekend, but concussions have some players reeling due to injury. 1500 ESPN has more on the major players.
The Vikings ruled out left guard Steve Hutchinson and cornerback Asher Allen for Saturday's game at Washington because of concussions they suffered in last weekend's loss to New Orleans. Both returned briefly against the Saints before departing for good and didn't practice all week.
Joe Berger is expected to start in Hutchinson's place, with rookie Brandon Fusco perhaps rotating in for a series or two. The Vikings plan to use a rotation at cornerback including Benny Sapp, Marcus Sherels, Brandon Burton and Cedric Griffin, who hasn't played on defense since getting benched on Dec. 11 at Detroit.