2019 ScheduleAll times ET

2019 Schedule
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4h

Son charged in death of ex-Viking Bennett

The son of former NFL lineman Barry Bennett has been charged in the death of his father. He is being sought by police after Bennett and his wife were found dead in their home.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer said there's a chance Mike Boone could get some reps as a returner these next two weeks, which may help his chances of making the 53 after two solid preseason games: "For guys like him, these backup tight ends, the backup wide receivers, backup running backs, backup DBs, backup linebackers, they need to play special teams if they want to make the team," Zimmer said. "So, I was impressed with what he did on special teams probably more so than running back.”

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kyle Sloter was 11-for-13 for 116 yards and a TD vs. Seattle, but do those numbers (and other preseason performances) add up to him actually contending for the No. 2 QB job? Sloter has a ways to go, according to Mike Zimmer, to contend for that position. "He's got to get a lot better in a lot of the other parts of being a quarterback," Zimmer said. "Making the right checks, getting people in the right formation, making sure the motion is there, not missing time clock with 8 yards in front of you. There are a lot of things he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer noted the difficulty in flushing out receiver depth because of the inconsistency among the younger players: "They're hard to separate right now. When we talk about it in the personnel meetings, it's things like that. One guys has a good day, then he has a bad day. The consistency of what they're trying to do is really hard to get a handle on. That's why I say these special teams – they need to get their rear ends going on that."

Greg Trott/AP Photo
4dAaron Schatz

The biggest 'fluke' seasons for NFL QBs

Players at all positions have had fluke seasons, but it's the QBs that stick out most. Here are the top 10, including two current NFC East starters.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
4dNFL Nation

Training camp MVPs for all 32 NFL teams

NFL Nation tabs Mr. Training Camp for every team, from the reigning Defensive Player of the Year to a potential quarterback of the future.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Zimmer on Holton Hill's ejectionable hit on Paxton Lynch: "Number one, we don't want to see anybody get hurt so I told Pete that after the game. Sorry about his quarterback. Number two, he can't drop his head. But saying that, when a quarterback is running an option, he ought to be fair game other than lowering your head and hitting him in the head. So if they're going to let these quarterbacks be runners, then we should be able to hit them. He didn't hit him legally but we need to hit these guys."

5d

Vikings top Seahawks 25-19 behind crisp preseason passing

Rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. and backup wide receiver Brandon Zylstra each had touchdown receptions for Minnesota and the Vikings displayed depth and versatility in their passing game in a 25-19 exhibition victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday...

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

After Gary Kubiak noted how Brandon Zylstra was beginning to look like himself again post-injury and the opportunity ahead of him in Sunday's game, I spoke to the 2nd year receiver about some of the ways he's tried to grab the attention of coaches and earn a roster spot. One area he's trying to get better at is playing in the slot. He was first asked to do it in the CFL, which he says is totally different than the NFL when defenders are more willing to jam at the LOS and test your physicality. "Having a bigger body, that's something I need to work on," Zylstra said. "Lowering my chest, lowering my pads, trying to create some separation and actually using my size. I feel like once I get that down, I'll be better off." Zylstra caught all five of his targets on Sunday for 37 yards and a 4-yard touchdown in the second half vs. Seattle.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Last season the Vikings had a goal for Kirk Cousins to get a first down w/ his feet every game. The way that helped the team on third down in New Orleans is something Minnesota wants to see occasionally from its QB. "I think it's a positive in his game because he has the ability to leave the pocket and people play a lot of man (coverage) and those types of things and keep us on the football field," Gary Kubiak said. "It's something you talk about all the time, you don't know how often it's going to happen in a game but obviously, you'll be a good third down team if your quarterback has the ability to do that."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Whether and/or when Dalvin Cook plays in the preseason is up in the air, but the Vikings are looking for the rest of their RBs to show in the preseason that their won't be a drop off when Cook goes to the sideline during real games. Yes, Cook is a three-down back and has had a 'tremendous' camp, but finding the right combination of backs to give multiple looks out of the backfield and fully employ a two-back system at times will be critical to the success of this run game. "I think the key with Matt(ison) and Abdullah and those guys, they've got to have the role on the football team and when Dalvin steps out of a game or takes his break, we've got to continue to go," Gary Kubiak said. "We can't be - OK, let's survive until Dalvin comes back. No, we keep going forward."

Will Newton/Getty Images
11dCourtney Cronin

Zimmer open to punter/kicker Vedvik doing both

After sending a 2020 fifth-round pick to Baltimore in a trade for Kaare Vedvik on Sunday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he is open to the idea of letting the second-year punter/kicker perform both roles.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer said he wouldn't have a problem with Kaare Vedvik being both the kicker AND punter and though he said 'everything is a possibility at this point,' the Vikings coach noted the challenges in having one specialist do both jobs: "It's probably difficult for a rookie I would think. You've got a rookie snapper, and then you'd have a rookie kicker and rookie punter. Then you'd have to find somebody to hold."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Minnesota Vikings have named Andrew Miller as the team's next Chief Operating Officer, replacing Kevin Warren, who was named the Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference in June. The Vikings went with an external candidate in finding Warren's replacement and out of football entirely. Miller spent the last four seasons in Major League Baseball and was responsible for managing all business operations of the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre, with a focus on understanding and enhancing the fan experience. Vikings owner Mark Wilf called the search process 'extensive' when he spoke with reporters last month and said the franchise was looking for a candidate that would fit 'primarily a business leadership role.'

Dalvin Cook prepares one of his favorite meals (1:48)

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Wild day on the Vikings special teams front, with the makeup of the specialists unit about to/already undergoing major changes. Kaare Vedvik, who was pulled off the Ravens practice field and traded to Minnesota for a 5th round pick, was expected to come in and compete at punter initially but the team is open to creating competition at both kicker AND punter. Later on Sunday, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that the Vikings are releasing Kevin McDermott, which means rookie Austin Cutting is the team's long snapper. It's unfair to say Cutting 'won' the battle outright given many of Bailey's misses have occurred with the rookie at long snapper, but Minnesota is moving forward with its final pick from the 7th round of the draft. McDermott's release creates some cap room for Minnesota, around $850K, which puts the Vikings around $5 million in cap space for the 2019 season. It'll be interesting to see what happens next with punter/holder Matt Wile, who was replaced at holder Sunday by wide receiver Chad Beebe. Sources indicate the Vikings want to see how Vedvik handles punting/holding duties in addition to what he could provide in the kicking game, so it not only puts Bailey's status in question but Wile's as well.

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