Joe Berger just wants to help the Vikings win.
Berger, who suffered a concussion at Detroit on Nov. 24 and was sidelined against Dallas (Dec. 1) and at Jacksonville (Dec. 11), returned to the starting lineup against the Colts on Sunday. Rather than playing center, however, Berger stepped in for Brandon Fusco, who was in concussion protocol after being injured at Jacksonville.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press caught up with Berger Tuesday to talk about playing a different position and the upcoming game at Green Bay.
"I do whatever they tell me to do," Berger told Tomasson.
With Fusco out, the Vikings elected to play Berger at guard, where he had not played in the regular season since 2014, when he had nine starts. They gave a third straight start to Nick Easton at center.
"There's always some adjustments,'' Berger told Tomasson. "The looks are a little different. You're one spot over. The way they attack the guards is different than the way they attack the center, so you've got a little more space to deal with. So, yeah, there's differences. But that's part of playing the game. If that's where they need me to play, that's where I'll play.''
Berger also expressed confidence about the Border Battle game on Sunday. The Vikings have defeated the Packers in two consecutive games, and Berger feels they can win again.
"I know we can beat Green Bay,'' Berger said. "We've just got to go out there and play the game the way we need to play."
Goessling: Rudolph, Hunter should have made Pro Bowl
The NFL announced Tuesday evening that four Vikings are headed to the 2017 Pro Bowl: Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Cordarrelle Patterson and Harrison Smith.
ESPN's Ben Goessling wrote a summary on each of the players who received a Pro Bowl nod but also added arguments for two Vikings that he feels should also have made the all-star roster. Goessling wrote the following of tight end Kyle Rudolph:
The 2013 Pro Bowl MVP was left off the roster, despite setting career highs in catches (66) and yards (670). He has six receiving touchdowns, which are the second-most of his career, and has clicked with quarterback Sam Bradford in his first season with the Vikings.
Goessling also made the case for second-year defensive end Danielle Hunter:
The 22-year-old was likely going to need another year to raise awareness about his play around the league, and he was left off the roster despite posting 10.5 sacks in a rotational role. Hunter also has a safety this season and returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown in the Vikings season-opening win over the Titans.
Carl Lee Award given to senior at alum's high school
Defensive back Derrek Pitts, a senior at South Charleston High School, was named the 2016 Carl Lee Award Winner.
According to Rick Ryan of the Charleston Gazette, the honor is given annually to the state's top defensive back by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. Ryan wrote:
In what was thought to be a rebuilding season at SC, the 6-foot-2, 179-pound Pitts energized the Black Eagles program and — despite some physical setbacks — helped them reach the playoff quarterfinals.
The award is named after former Vikings cornerback Carl Lee, who played for Minnesota from 1983-1993, and visited Minnesota last week to make the 100th sounding of the Gjallarhorn.
Pitts certainly has a good role model to look to in Lee, who was also an all-state player at South Charleston before heading off to Marshall and then spending 11 seasons as a defensive back in the NFL. Lee was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings in 2010, the franchise's 50th season.
"I work at the South Charleston Rec Center,'' Pitts told Ryan, "I see [Lee] sometimes and talk to him. It's great to be part of that legacy at South Charleston High and hopefully, it's one that will definitely keep on going at our school.''