The energy at yesterday's rare Monday practice at the team's Winter Park facility was a little more than boisterous than usual with the team coming off of the bye week.
Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy profiles the Vikings mindset entering the final half of the 2014 season:
*The Vikings returned to work on a miserably snowy Monday, but winter's early return did not dampen their demeanor or expectations as opportunity knocks. *
*Minnesota (4-5) won two straight entering the bye and has a chance to bury Chicago (3-6) deeper in the NFC North standings Sunday when it visits Solder Field. *
*Revitalized and refreshed, the Vikings realize they have staved off relegating the second half of the 2014 season to a total rebuilding project. *
*"Things really worked out for us where we can come into this second half of the season and really have a chance to make some noise," wide receiver Jarius Wright said. *
*Players made plenty of it during their indoor practice, welcoming each other back with smiles, hand slaps and trash-talking during the portion open to the media. *
*"I was curious to find out how they were mentally with their techniques, their footwork, their hand placements, the splits, everything that they did," said coach Mike Zimmer. "Actually, I was impressed today, and I don't get impressed much." *
*Center John Sullivan said the bye landed at an ideal time in the schedule, allowing players to rest physically and mentally and take stock of where the team stands. *
*"What we need to do is to come back here, work hard and focus on getting back in that same rhythm we were in before the bye and beating Chicago," he said. *
This young Vikings squad will need the energy in Chicago this weekend while searching for the team's first win in the Windy City since 2007.
- The Vikings lost a great man and former player, Orlando Thomas, two days ago to his battle with ALS. Here is a tribute to the former safety who exemplified hard work as a player and person.
- Tight end Kyle Rudolph primed to return, Vikings hopeful he'll play – Via Derek Wetmore from 1500 ESPN.
- Salute to the troops from Greg Jennings on this Veteran's Day.