Emptying Out This Week’s Notebook

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 15, 2009 – 10:11 am

We are less than 2 hours from kickoff, which can’t come soon enough for the Vikings and their fans after a bye last week.

Before we start to focus on the game today, I wanted to empty out this week’s notebooks with a few remaining items I couldn’t get to earlier…

– On Friday Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress was asked how his team looked in practice over the week, since they were coming back from a week off and have a comfortable lead in the division.

“You always reserve judgment until you go a million miles-an-hour in the game,” Childress said, “but they came back in decent shape (and) practiced well on Monday, Wednesday, yesterday. I’m not going to characterize today until I get a look at it, but everybody did what they needed to do.”

I would also add that the Vikings have a solid core group of veteran players and that will decrease the chances they come out slow today.

– Speaking of that comfortable division lead, it’s largely the product of the Chicago Bears losing twice since the Vikings last played. Chicago dropped their Thursday night game at San Francisco a few days ago and lost last week to Arizona at home. Additionally, the Packers lost last week to Tampa Bay while the Vikings were resting and this week they play at home against the suddenly resurgent Dallas Cowboys, who lead the NFC East with a 6-2 record.

– For the 1st time in a long time, Vikings WR Darius Reynaud practiced all week. He’s coming back from a hamstring injury he suffered earlier this season.

“He looks like he is back up to full-speed; looks like it. So we’ll just see how we come through Saturday and all that kind of stuff. He’s come out and practiced more and better,” Childress said.

So, it looks like Reynaud will be available today against Detroit, and that gives Childress a lot more flexibility in his lineup decisions. Reynaud plays receiver, obviously, but he can also return punts and kicks, cover kicks and potentially block for kickoff return.

“It ends up being, who can do the most? Who can contribute the most in the most areas? Can you play other phases on special teams? Both of those guys (Reynaud and Jaymar Johnson) are good return guys,” Childress said. “Can you gun? Can you run down and tackle? They both practice in that area. So, who’s best doing that? Can you hold up in punt when you stand out in the vice? Can you play one of the forward positions on a kickoff return? So it’s just who can do the most and give you the most depth on your special teams. Then, who can do the most at the wide receiver position if you got wiped out?”

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