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Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer Preaching Patience Over Panic Regarding Slow Start to 2018

With back-to-back Vikings losses and the team slipping to 1-2-1 on the season, Coach Mike Zimmer is preaching patience, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

“I know everybody wants to evaluate everybody after four weeks, but I think if you remember last year, early in the year, Xavier had some penalties, but we cleaned them up. This isn’t time for ‘woe is me,’?” Zimmer said. “If you remember, we were 2-2 at this time last year; we finished 13-3. We were 5-0 the year before; we finished 8-8. We were 2-2 the year before that, and we finished 11-5. All the predictors are really — this isn’t a good time to predict.”

It remains to be seen whether the Vikings’ 1-2-1 start is as poor an indicator of their final record as their starts the past three years turned out to be, but Zimmer seemed intent on sending a message as the Vikings began preparations for their NFC Championship Game rematch with the Eagles on Sunday.

The defense allowed 556 total yards last Thursday against the Rams, and equaled the most points they’ve given up in a game under Zimmer by surrendering 38 in Los Angeles. Now, as the Vikings try to get back to .500 while delivering a blow to the defending world champions, Zimmer said their problems can be fixed with a greater attention to detail.

“I obviously addressed some things with the team the last couple days,” he said. “We’ve had some points of emphasis we’ve got to continue to get better at. It’s doing things the way we’re supposed to do them, the way we’ve always done them.”

CB Trae Waynes and RB Dalvin Cook Miss Another Practice for the Vikings

The Vikings continued practice Thursday without cornerback Trae Waynes (concussion) and running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring), Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Waynes remains in the concussion protocol a week after suffering the brain injury in a 38-31 loss to the Rams.

Cook continued to rehab his injured hamstring with strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama off to the side of practice.

It remains to be seen if either will be available Sunday in Philadelphia. Head coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday that Cook is “probably questionable” to play against the Eagles. We’ll get the actual game-day designations on Friday after another practice.

Defensive end Everson Griffen remains away from the team while addressing mental health concerns.

Video: Vikings No Match for Rams and Goff in 38-31 Thursday Night Setback

Trey Wingo, Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. reflect on Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff’s 465 yards and 5 touchdown performance in the Rams’ 38-31 win Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings WR Cayleb Jones Arrested on Allegations of Felony Theft, Domestic Assault

Vikings wide receiver Cayleb Jones was arrested Tuesday on allegations of felony theft, misdemeanor domestic assault and for interfering with a 911 call. He was being held without bond in the Dakota County Jail in Hastings, Minnesota.

A preliminary investigation deemed that Jones and an unidentified female engaged in “a verbal altercation” that turned physical. Jones fled the scene, but turned himself in.

According to arrest records, Jones was taken into custody at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday by Eagan police and booked at 5:05 p.m. He is due to appear in court at noon Thursday when he will be formally charged.

“We are aware of the situation involving Cayleb Jones and are in the process of gathering more information,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement released by the team. “Further comment will be provided at the appropriate time.”

Jones, a practice squad member in 2017, was already due to serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

KSTP was the first to report news of Jones’ arrest. The Vikings travel to Tennessee on Thursday for their preseason finale against the Titans.

Vikings OG Nick Easton Likely Out for the Season After Neck Surgery

Vikings left offensive guard Nick Easton underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck on Thursday and is likely out for the season according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Easton had been searching out second opinions on his neck injury, but it appears as if surgery was the only option. While he will likely miss all of 2018, this is not considered a career-threatening injury.

Originally an undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2016, Easton made 12 starts in 2017 before breaking his ankle and the team signed him to a second-round tender worth $2.914 million this spring.

With center Pat Elflein still on the PUP list and right guard Mike Remmers sidelined by an ankle injury, Minnesota is extremely thin along the offensive line. Tom Compton should get the first crack at replacing Easton.

Video: Watch Randy Moss’ Hall of Fame Speech as He Joins the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Randy Moss delivers a powerful speech at the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, praising his mother for all she did and stressing the importance of providing for his family.

He also tells the young members of his family “I’m here now” after 14 years of spending time away in the NFL and thanks former coach Bill Belichick for inspiring him to be his best self on and off the field.

Report: Vikings and WR Stefon Diggs Agree to Five-Year Extension

A person with direct knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Vikings and wide receiver Stefon Diggs have agreed on a five-year contract extension, moving the star of the “Minneapolis Miracle” into the NFL’s top 10 highest-paid players at his position.

The new deal, which was reached on Tuesday, is valued at $72 million plus an additional $9 million in possible incentives, according to the person who spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the details.

Diggs has yet to post a 1,000-yard or 100-catch season, but his ability was on full display when he made the 61-yard touchdown reception on the game’s final play to lift the Vikings to victory over New Orleans in last season’s playoffs.

Medical Examiner Says Vikings OL Coach Tony Sparano Died of Heart Disease

A county medical examiner says Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano died of heart disease.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Monday that the 56-year-old Sparano died of arteriosclerotic heart disease, or hardening of the arteries. The manner of death is listed as natural.

Sparano died Sunday in Eden Prairie, a Minneapolis suburb. He had been the Vikings’ offensive line coach since 2016.

Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 and had stints as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders.

He was the Dolphins’ head coach from 2008-11 and went 29-32. He went 11-5 and won the AFC East in his first season with Miami.

Sparano also spent time with the Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys and 49ers.

Late Vikings Coach Dennis Green to Be Inducted Into the Teams’ Ring of Honor

Former Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green has a long legacy that will be part of the teams’ history for a long time to come, and on September 23rd the team will pay their highest respect to the late coach.

That day the Vikings will play the Buffalo Bills, and you can get an Ocean sports bonus code for that game, an idea you want to make sure to take advantage of as the team will honor Green.

The club has announced they will induct Green into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor at halftime of the home tilt with the Bills, giving props to a coach that nearly took them to the Super Bowl during their historic 1998 season.

Green, who passed away in July of 2016, coached the Vikings from 1992 through 2001. He was the voice behind a team that set an NFL record at the time for scoring the most points in a season, and took them to the NFC Title game where a missed Gary Anderson field goal stopped them from reaching the Super Bowl and what could have been a historic matchup with John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

The one-time Stanford coach coached 171 games in 10 seasons with a 101-70 record, including playoffs, and finished with the second-most victories in franchise history behind Bud Grant (178). Grant is a Hall of Fame coach, putting Green right there with one of the best coaches in NFL history.

He led the Vikings to four NFC Central Division titles and two appearances in the NFC Championship Game. While the first NFC Title Game ended in heartbreak at home, the second the team was never in as they were blown out by the Giants in the 2000 season.

No one will ever forget the greatness of that 1998 team, a club that had their own one-hour special on NFL Network as a ‘Missing Ring’ – a team that many felt should have won the Super Bow.

That team scored 556 points for an average of 34.8 per game, an NFL record that has since been broken (the Patriots during the 2007 season in which they nearly went perfect before losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII).

“Dennis Green’s impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day,” Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement.

“In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL’s top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We’re extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor and we’re looking forward to the induction in September.”

A well deserved honor for Green and his legacy.

Vikings Re-Sign Veteran Cornerback Terence Newman

The Vikings re-signed veteran cornerback Terence Newman for 2019 according to the team’s official website.

The team had had ongoing talks with Newman about returning for his age-40 season this spring but it seemed possible they would change their minds after using their first round draft pick on UCF cornerback Mike Hughes Thursday night.

That said, the Vikings have long valued Newman’s veteran leadership both on and off the field and he is a great role model for their young secondary. Newman is also still playing at a high level despite being in the NFL since 2003, as he appeared in all 16 games last season playing 559 snaps and graded out as one of the better slot corners in the league.

Newman’s snap count will likely be reduced this season given the impressive cornerback trio of Hughes, Xavier Rhodes, and Trae Waynes. Our guess is he will still play an impactful role on a team fighting to win a Super Bowl ring.