Injury Report Update – Henderson Participates

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 6:16 pm

After sitting out practice on Wednesday because of a shoulder injury, Vikings LB E.J. Henderson was listed as a limited participant in practice on Thursday’s injury report. In more good news for the Vikings, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said during his press conference on Thursday that Henderson’s injury wasn’t a “major concern” and that from everything he’s been told, Henderson is going to be alright.

In other developments with regard to the injury report, Vikings WR Percy Harvin (illness) was listed as a non-participant. Also not participating was LB Erin Henderson (calf).

Limited participants in practice today, along with E.J. Henderson, were Adrian Peterson (back) and Madieu Williams (shoulder). Jim Kleinsasser (hand) participated fully in practice.

For the 49ers, there were 3 changes. DE Justin Smith (non-injury related) was back to work and participated fully. But DT Aubrayo Franklin (non-injury related) was added. G David Baas (ankle) went from a limited participant on Wednesday to a full participant today. RB Frank Gore (ankle) and LB Marques Harris (toe) both remained limited in practice for the 2nd consecutive day.

LB Ahmad Brooks (knee) and RB Glenn Coffee (hip) were also both full participants for the 2nd consecutive day.

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Frazier Pointed About Improving vs. Run

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 5:29 pm

I know the Detroit Lions rushed for 129 yards last Sunday and averaged 3.8 yards per rush. And I know that performance came on the heels of the Vikings yielding 52 1st half rushing yards and a 4.5 yards-per-rush average to the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.

But the Vikings have gone 25 consecutive games without allowing an individual to gain 100 yards, including the first 2 games this year. And they haven’t given up a rushing TD this year, either. So when reporters asked Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier about his concern for the Vikings rushing defense, I expected a diplomatic, equivocal answer.

That’s not what I heard.

“No question,” Frazier said when asked if he was concerned about his run defense. “We have not played good run defense, in particular this past week, and we got to shore it up. That running game of San Francisco is humming. They had a great game against Seattle, in particular, Frank Gore. So we are going to have to be right in the run game this weekend without question. We will have to play our best run defense up to this point.”

Frazier is right in that the 49ers ground game has been humming so far in 2009. Through 2 games, San Francisco is averaging 138.5 rushing yards per game with 3 scores on the ground. Gore leads the attack and had a signature game last week, rushing for 207 yards and a pair of TDs on just 16 carries before leaving the game with an ankle injury.

So what precisely must the Vikings do to shore up their ground defense against Gore and the 49ers?

“We have to do a better job of getting off of blocks and tackling and just being gap sound,” Frazier explained. “Just one guy getting out of his gap can create some major issues. When you have a back at the caliber of Gore instead of being a seven or eight-yard gain it can be an 80-yard explosion.

“We are going back to emphasizing the importance of every guy being where he needs to be and then everybody else rallying to the football to limit big plays in the run game. It’s become a point of emphasis and something you don’t want to ever take for granted, playing good run defense.”

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Peterson Motivated By Previous Performance

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:38 pm

In his last game against the San Francisco 49ers, then rookie RB Adrian Peterson had the worst game of his career. When all was said and done that day, Peterson had 14 carries for 3 yards. And that’s not a typo.

So how did the 49ers manage to hold Peterson to 0.2 yards per carry for an entire game?

“That was the worst game of my career,” Peterson said, “but when I studied the film it really wasn’t what those guys were doing – which they did do a great job on the defensive side of the ball. It was a lot of what I did to really allow those plays also. So I learned from that and I definitely want to do (well) this week.”

Considering Peterson’s immense success in the league before and since that game in San Francisco, the 49ers are in trouble this weekend if the law of averages kicks in.

But Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that Peterson won’t be relying on the law of averages.

“When we left San Francisco last time, I was trying to look ahead on the schedule and see when we played these guys again,” Peterson said. “So, like I said, I learned a lot from that game. It was the worst game of my career so it sticks in my head. I am looking forward to playing these guys this week.”

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Tyrell Johnson Live Chat Tomorrow

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:25 pm

Join us on tomorrow around 2:00 p.m. as S Tyrell Johnson chats live with fans.

Every Friday afternoon during the regular season we will have a player chatting live with fans. To chat with Tyrell, come back to this page on Friday at about 2 p.m. and make use of the provided interface.

These live chats have been big hits in the past, so we look forward to hearing from you tomorrow afternoon.

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Peterson: Back Injury “Not a Big Deal”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 4:03 pm

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson appeared on Wednesday’s injury report as a limited participant with a “back” listed under the injury column. That development likely caused some uneasiness for Vikings fans as their team prepares to open the home portion of the schedule with a game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

But, Peterson said during his press conference on Thursday that his back injury was “not a big deal.” Those are encouraging words for the Vikings.

Following practice on Thursday, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress did not provide an update on Peterson’s status, or the status of any other players on Wednesday’s injury report, saying an update will come when the team’s daily injury report is released this afternoon.

Today’s injury report has not been filed but we’ll let you know as soon as that happens. The report will be released later than usual each day because the 49ers are obviously practicing on the west coast and won’t wrap up until late afternoon CT.

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Submit Your Mailbag Questions!

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 3:53 pm

Don’t forget to submit your questions/comments to the Mailbag, which will be published ever Friday during the regular season.

You can submit your question/comment to me by sending an email to I can’t post every question/comment, but I’ll answer them all.

You can check out last week’s Mailbag feature by clicking here.

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Frazier, 49ers Head Coach Singletary Remain Close

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 10:03 am

Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary came into the league together as rookie roommates in 1981 and then they won a Super Bowl together as vital pieces to the dominant Bears defense in 1985.

Now they both hold prominent coaching roles with their respective teams. As the Vikings host the 49ers on Sunday, they’ll both be coaching at the Metrodome. But they’ll be apart and on different sidelines.

Though they’re adversaries this week, Singletary explained during a conference call with Twin Cities reporters that their relationship has remained close since their playing days in Chicago concluded.

“Leslie and I go back a long ways,” Singletary said. “He’s one of my best friends. We are very close.”

Singletary said that he speaks with Frazier “at least once a week, if not sometimes a little more, but most of the time once a week or every ten days.”

Both heady and intense players for the Bears in the 80s, Singletary and Frazier have ascended the coaching ranks. Singletary was named the 49ers interim coach in October of 2008 and then was offered the job as San Francisco’s head coach in December. Frazier, meanwhile, joined the Vikings in 2007 as defensive coordinator and had the title of assistant head coach added prior to the 2008 season.

Frazier has interviewed for head coaching positions in the past and his success as the defensive boss in Minnesota will do nothing but make him a more attractive candidate for franchises down the road.

“He is a guy that any organization would be proud to have him,” Singletary said. “He’s got the right mindset; he loves his players, and he loves his family. He is a very hard worker. There is not enough time for me to tell you how much value and how much trust I have in him.”

Singletary cited a love for the Lord, family and football as reasons they’ve remained such close friends over the years. Because of their close relationship, Singletary has gained an insight into Frazier that he says most other people don’t have.

“He seems to be a quiet guy, really calm and reserved, but inside of him is a rage; inside of him is a madman,” Singletary said partially in jest, but also with a tone of sincerity. “He doesn’t let it come out too often, (but) it’s in there.”

Asked when Frazier does let it out, Singletary quipped, “It comes out in his play-calling.”

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Vikings Tour Of Top 2007 Draft Picks Continues

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 8:55 am

An interesting dynamic of the Vikings 2009 schedule is the number of top picks they’ll face from the 2007 NFL Draft. With the #7 pick from that draft – Adrian Peterson – on the Vikings roster, this schedule dynamic has created some interesting matchups.

Peterson and the Vikings began their tour of top 2007 picks in Week 1 when they faced LT Joe Thomas, who was the #3 overall pick from that year. In playing the Browns, the Vikings also faced the #22 pick from the ’07 draft, QB Brady Quinn.

In Week 2, the tour forged on as the Vikings defense was charged with the task of slowing down WR Calvin Johnson, the 2nd overall pick from the ’07 draft.

Now in Week 3, the Vikings will play their 3rd consecutive game against a player picked in the top 11 of the ’07 draft. LB Patrick Willis, who will lead the 49ers defense against Peterson and the Vikings offense, was taken with the 11th overall pick in 2007. In terms of actual matchups with the Vikings, this one is perhaps the most interesting. Peterson is the best RB in the NFL and Willis is becoming the best MLB in the game, and they have mutual respect for one another as fellow Pro Bowlers already in their brief careers.

Lastly, the Vikings travel to Arizona in Week 13 and will face RT Levi Brown, who was taken with the #5 overall pick in 2007.

Three of the players mentioned above – Peterson, Thomas and Willis – have made the Pro Bowl in both of their pro seasons, quite an impressive accomplishment. Another player – Calvin Johnson – will make several Pro Bowl appearances by the time his career is done.

The top picks in the 2007 draft make up an impressive list of players, and Vikings fans will get to see quite a few of them in 2009.

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Favre: Playing In The Metrodome Will Be “Awesome”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 7:43 am

Vikings QB Brett Favre said the “newness” factor has worn off from a chemistry and locker room standpoint.  But one thing that is still new to Favre is playing a regular season home game in the Metrodome as a member of the Vikings.

After opening the season with 2 straight road games, the Vikings have their home opener this week against the San Francisco 49ers and on Wednesday Favre seemed excited to play in front of the home crowd.

“I think it will be awesome,” Favre said. “I am looking forward to it, especially after playing the first two games on the road. It will be nice to get back home. I am looking forward to it.”

Asked if he has any expectations for the type of reception he’ll receive from fans, Favre said his thoughts have been centered around how tough the Metrodome crowd can be on opposing teams.

“I haven’t thought about that,” Favre said. “The expectations are that we go out and win this game. I know our fans, as we come out, will be the 12th man for us because I know what it is like playing in this place as the enemy. So they will make it as tough on the opposing team as possible, but I haven’t thought about what it will be like individually. “

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5 Vikings On Wednesday Injury Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 24, 2009 – 6:22 am

The Vikings and 49ers released their 1st injury reports of Week 3, and a quartet of regular contributors appeared on it for the Vikings in addition to LB Erin Henderson (calf).

Also on the report were LB E.J. Henderson (shoulder), TE Jim Kleinsasser (hand), RB Adrian Peterson (back) and S Madieu Williams (shoulder).

Both Henderson brothers did not participate in practice on Wednesday, while Peterson and Williams were limited participants and Kleinsasser participated fully.

The 49ers had starters listed on their report as well. DE Justin Smith (non injury related) missed practice, while RB Frank Gore (ankle) was a limited participant in practice. Others on the report are G David Baas (ankle – limited), LB Marques Harris (toe – limited), LB Ahmad Brooks (knee – limited) and RB Glenn Coffee (hip – full).

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