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NOTEBOOK: Keenum Will Start Sunday Against Lions

Posted Sep 28, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Case Keenum will make his third straight start Sunday when Minnesota hosts the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said after Thursday’s practice that quarterback Sam Bradford is ruled out with a knee injury.

“I’d like to think that I always have confidence and that I’m always confident in myself. I’m very confident in this team,” Keenum said Wednesday. “I’m very confident in my offensive line, my receivers, backs, all those guys. 

“That’s something that I’ve developed and I’ve tried to continue to cultivate as the weeks have gone by, but any time you’re successful, I think it helps build confidence,” Keenum added. 

Keenum has split his pair of starts but had perhaps the best game on his NFL career on Sunday, completing 25 of 33 passes for a career-high 369 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-17 victory.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur said Thursday that Keenum and the Vikings offense looked more in-sync Sunday than in his first start against Pittsburgh on the road.

“I think it crossed over to the whole team. He was one of a bunch of players and coaches that we just did a better job of executing,” Shurmur said. “We took the ball down the field on the first drive and scored, which is a huge boost for the team.

“I thought, generally speaking, he was very efficient,” Shurmur added. “Although, there were some deep ball opportunities that we hit on for the most part. He went out and executed. He had a good idea of what we were trying to do, and I think he played well.”

Keeping the Cook healthy

Dalvin Cook said he hasn’t been surprised by much in his short time in the NFL.

But the biggest area on emphasis? That’s an easy answer for the Vikings rookie running back.

Cook said this week that he has placed a premium on making sure his body is rested and recovered for each game.

“Your body is key to all this. You take care of your body, and it will take care of you,” Cook said. “Your body is key to everything, so you have to take care of your body because it’s a long season.

“It’s early in the season, and you have to make sure it’s ready for the long run down the stretch,” Cook added.

Cook noted that his treatment style is fairly standard, and that he doesn’t use anything at home such as a hyperbaric chamber to sleep in.

“I don’t got nothing funky,” Cook said with a laugh. “I just do the little things that’s here … cold tubs and things like that.”

Cook ranks second in the NFL with 288 rushing yards through three games. He has also shown a knack for consistently picking up yards after first contact.

No competition here

Vikings wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs currently rank second and third in the NFL in receiving yards, respectively.

Thielen has 299 receiving yards while Diggs has 293 receiving yards, but don’t expect either to start clamoring for the ball to be thrown his way more than the other.

Diggs, who leads the NFL with four touchdown catches, said Thursday that there is not a competition between himself and Thielen.

“No, no, no,” Diggs said with a laugh. “I do my best to try to get him open, so I wouldn’t want to be in competition with a guy I’m trying to help.”

As for the talk of whether or not he and Thielen were the best wide receiver duo in the league, Diggs wanted no part of that discussion either.

“I would say it’s real early to say all of that,” Diggs said. “We’re going to the next game as of right now.

“As far as best receiving duo, we aren’t worried about that,” Diggs added. “(Thielen is) definitely doing some great things, though.” 

Diggs said he prefers to focus on wins and losses rather than personal stats. The 2-1 Vikings square off against the 2-1 Lions on Sunday at noon (CT).

Injury Reports

For the Vikings: Sam Bradford (knee) and Mike Remmers (illness) did not participate.

For the Lions: Dwayne Washington (quadriceps) and Kenny Golladay (hamstring) did not participate. Ezekiel Ansah (knee), Don Carey (knee), Jarrad Davis (concussion), Tavon Wilson (shoulder) and Zac Kerin (knee) were limited. T.J. Lang (fibula), Jamal Agnew (pelvis), Glover Quin (knee), Travis Swanson (ankle) and Anthony Zettel (knee) were full participants.