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Still Hanging on to the NFC’s 6th Seed, the Vikings Have a Tough Road to the Postseason

Following the Chicago Bears Thanksgiving feast of a win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings march to a hopeful postseason birth has done nothing but get tougher as the team has a huge game this Sunday against the rival Green Bay Packers.

Checking American Football Betting, the Vikings are sitting in most sportsbooks as 3.5 point favorites for the NBC Sunday Night Football showdown, and it might just be the last chance for Minnesota to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Sitting at 5-4-1, and currently in the 6th spot in the NFC playoff picture, those numbers do not mean a whole lot when you look at the games that the Vikings have left on their very tough 2018 schedule.

The team has six games left including Sunday night’s battle with the Packers, and four of them are going to be daunting, including the biggest being the week 17 showdown with the Division leading Bears, who look more and more impressive by the week with a sense and the ability to find ways to get the job done.

The week after the Vikings take on the Pack, they will have a game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and if that is not tough enough, the game will be played late in the day in New England, which is never an easy place to win.

The Pats are still fighting teams like the Chiefs and Steelers for a bye in the AFC, and the Vikings will have their hands full on the road a week from Sunday.

After the matchup with the Patriots, the team will head to Seattle, another very tough place to win, for a prime-time showdown with the Seattle Seahawks on ESPN on Monday, December 10th.

The Hawks are also in the mix for a NFC playoff spot, so this will be a big game in terms of trying to stay in control of a wild card spot in the NFC.

After the Seattle battle on Monday night, the team will come back for to play the final two home games of 2018 in their last three games, staring with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, December 16th with a noon kickoff.

The team the next week will go on the road to play the Lions, and then in the last week of the season have that huge matchup at home with the Bears, a team they lost to in the National spotlight on Sunday Night Football last week by a final score of 25-20.

The road to making it to the postseason with a chance to make some noise is not going to be easy for the purple people eaters, but it seems like the task is simple – win games and you’re going places – lose, and you’ll be on the outside looking in.

Video: NFL Network Breaks Down the Huge NFC North Matchup Between the Vikings and Bears

Move the Sticks hosts preview the Week 11 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.

Lions vs Vikings NFL Week Nine Inactives

Here’s today’s inactives for the Lions and Vikings NFC North matchup in Minnesota

Lions

RB Ameer Abdullah
OG Joe Dahl
OT Andrew Donnal
DE Kerry Hyder
DE Eric Lee
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
LB Kelvin Sheppard

Vikings

LB Anthony Barr
DE Tashawn Bower
OG Tom Compton
WR Stefon Diggs
S Andrew Sendejo
QB Kyle Sloter
RB Roc Thomas

Vikings DE Everson Griffen Expected to Be Ready to Take the Field Sunday Against Saints

Everson Griffen is expected to be active and play on Sunday after being away from the Vikings for the last five weeks, ESPN reports.

According to the Vikings’ team website, Griffen is slated to make his return to the lineup against the New Orleans Saints after practicing in full from Wednesday to Friday.

The Pro Bowl defensive end last appeared in Minnesota’s Week 2 tie in Green Bay. Griffen was ruled out of the Buffalo game with a knee injury and later was placed under a health and welfare hold at a Minneapolis-area hospital on Sept. 22 after his alleged involvement in two separate incidents drew police involvement and concern over his mental health.

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.