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Vikings Vote On Team Awards

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2009 – 4:38 pm

LB E.J. Henderson has been named the Vikings 2009 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.

The award is one of the NFL’s most prestigious and honors individuals who “exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.” The award is voted on annually by the players of each NFL team. A player is selected as the recipient from each NFL team and then the 32 honorees attend the Ed Block Courage Awards in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of neglected children and ending the cycle of abuse.

Henderson is a great choice by Vikings players because he battled back this year from a season-ending injury in 2008. In addition, Henderson is one of the most active Vikings in the local community. He established the E.J. Henderson Youth Foundation and has shown a commitment to helping youth in Minnesota.

Henderson was also named the 2009 Vikings Community Man of the Year earlier this season.

This past week the Vikings voted on other team awards as well, naming an MVP on defense, offense and special teams.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress shared with reporters on Wednesday the winners of those awards. They were:

Defensive MVP: Jared Allen
Offensive MVP: Brett Favre
Special Teams MVP: Ryan Longwell


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Pat Williams Questionable, Others Probable

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2009 – 2:04 pm

The Vikings have 4 players listed on this week’s injury report and today NFL teams are required to not only list each injured player’s level of participation in practice but also their probability of playing in this weekend’s game.

For the Vikings, 3 players are listed as probable. They are: G Steve Hutchinson (shoulder), DE Brian Robison (quadriceps) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot).

The 4th member of this week’s injury report – DT Pat Williams – is listed as questionable with an elbow ailment.

For the Bears, DE Adewale Ogunleye (leg) has been ruled out and S Kevin Payne (ankle) is doubtful. Four players are listed as questionable. They are: DE Gaines Adams (ankle), Al Afalava (knee), WR Devin Hester (calf) and P Brad Maynard (left groin).

Four other players are listed as probable for the Bears. They are: DT Tommie Harris (knee), OT Orlando Pace (groin), RB Adrian Peterson (illness) and OT Chris Williams (ankle)


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Fans Favor Vikings In Pro Bowl Voting

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2009 – 1:23 pm

Nearly 90 million Pro Bowl votes were cast by fan on NFL.com and the Vikings finished with 10 players as top vote-getters at their positions.

Those 10 players were: DE Jared Allen, LB Heath Farwell (special teams), KR Percy Harvin, G Steve Hutchinson, K Ryan Longwell, OT Bryant McKinnie, RB Adrian Peterson, C John Sullivan, FB Fahi Tahi and DT Pat Williams.

Also, the Vikings had 2 players (QB Brett Favre, Peterson in the top 5 – Favre was 3rd behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees while Peterson was 4th ahead of Larry Fitzgerald.

Fan voting ended on Monday, December 21 and there was a record 89.87 million votes cast on NFL.com and on wireless phones. The AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams are based on the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third towards determining the 43-man rosters that represent the AFC and NFC in the Pro Bowl.

NFL players and coaches voted on December 22-23.

The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31 and televised live on ESPN at 7:20 p.m. ET from Dolphin Stadium in South Florida, also the site of Super Bowl XLIV a week later on Sunday, February 7.


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Rookies Harvin, Knox Yielding Positive Returns

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2009 – 11:55 am

The forecast for Monday night’s game between the Vikings and Bears in Chicago calls for game-time temperatures somewhere in the 20s with gusty winds in the equation and also a 20% chance of precipitation.

These are far from desirable conditions for offensive output. It’s safe to say we shouldn’t be expecting an encore performance from either offense following last year’s game in Chicago, a 48-41 Bears victory in what is the highest scoring game in Vikings-Bears series history.

With points likely to be at a premium on Monday night, other facets of the game aside from offense will be crucial to the final outcome. One such example will be the return game.

And while odds are against a 2008-style Vikings-Bears shootout between QBs Brett Favre and Jay Cutler, we can anticipate a head-to-head matchup that is just as intriguing: Percy Harvin and Johnny Knox in the kick return game.

Monday night’s game will feature 2 of the top 3 kick returners in the NFL. Knox, a rookie WR out of Abilene Christian, ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 28.8 average and Harvin ranks 3rd with a 28.3 average.

The 2 rookie WRs also have similar styles when it comes to kick returns.

“They look to push the ball into the return first and then pick a seam second, which makes them dangerous,” Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy said. “Johnny Know has that unique ability of being slippery and downhill through the return and the ability speed-wise to go the distance.”


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