CHICAGO (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings come into the regular-season finale with the NFC North championship secured, a home game in the playoffs guaranteed and a bitter taste in their mouths.
A lopsided loss last week left them staggering.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Za'Darius Smith wore a wide smile in the Minnesota locker room before practice on Monday, a knowing expression that exuded the eagerness of getting to his first game with the Vikings.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-9)
New faces: HC Kevin O’Connell, DC Ed Donatell, OLB Za’Darius Smith, DT Harrison Phillips, LB Jordan Hicks, G Ed Ingram Jr., S Lewis Cine, CB Chandon Sullivan, CB Andrew Booth Jr., TE Johnny Mundt, G Jesse Davis, OL Chris Reed.
BUFFALO BILLS (12-7)
New faces: DE Von Miller, QB Case Keenum, DT Jordan Phillips, DT Tim Settle, TE O.J. Howard, WR Jamison Crowder, DE Shaq Lawson, DT DaQuan Jones, RB Duke Johnson, OL Rodger Saffold, OL David Quessenberry, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, CB Kaiir Elam, RB James Cook, P Matt Araiza.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The switch in schemes by the Minnesota Vikings and their edge rushing potential has dominated the narrative around their defense this season.
With new addition Za'Darius Smith and healthy returner Danielle Hunter, the Vikings are well-stacked at the outside linebacker spots as long as the duo can stay out of injury trouble.
12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-9)
LAST SEASON: The Vikings lost their first two games in crushing fashion to eventual playoff teams Cincinnati and Arizona and never truly recovered, not spending a single week above the .500 mark.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills released starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei on Friday in a move which frees up much-needed salary cap space at a position the team spent restocking in free agency this week.
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings began to pick away at their offseason to-do list as free agency formally opened on Wednesday, re-signing punter Jordan Berry and agreeing to contract terms with defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, tight end Johnny Mundt and interior offensive lineman Austin Schlottmann.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cam Heyward was helping one group of children plant in the garden at the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, while Harrison Phillips was lobbing passes to another set of kids.
The two defensive linemen were among a group of NFL players who turned out Friday for the annual Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year event, a chance for the league to honor and promote volunteerism.
Brett Maher, K, Dallas: Made both field-goal attempts with a long of 59 yards to help Dallas clinch the NFC East.
Prince Amukamara, CB, Chicago: Had two tackles against San Francisco.