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Lunchbreak: Vikings Embrace Short Week vs. Rams

It's a cram session this week as the Vikings prepare to face the Rams.

Not that the Vikings mind it as they look to erase Sunday's poor performance from their minds.

Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune wrote that the team is actually embracing the condensed week as they get ready to play on national television on the West Coast.

Goessling wrote:

The fact the Vikings are boarding a plane Tuesday night for Los Angeles, in advance of Thursday night's game with the Rams, meant they only had time for a survey course, rather than a full study, of everything that went wrong Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

"With a normal week, we would spend all of Monday doing complete corrections," defensive end Stephen Weatherly said. "With it being a short week, we're probably going to spend all of an hour, hour-and-a-half, tops, between special teams and defensive meetings correcting, because we have a very tough opponent coming up."

Thursday night's game will certainly be a challenge for the Vikings, who are 1-1-1 and tied for second place in the NFC North.

The Rams, who have scored at least 33 points in each game this season, are the lone unbeaten team left in a stacked conference.

Goessling wrote:

The Rams team the Vikings will face Thursday night is the NFC's first to 3-0, with the league's top-ranked defense and its fourth-ranked offense. Cornerback Aqib Talib likely will need ankle surgery to repair the injury he sustained in the second half of the Rams' 35-23 win over the Chargers on Sunday, and cornerback Marcus Peters is day-to-day after hurting his calf.

Nonetheless, the Vikings will have to prepare quickly for a team they defeated handily last November, in a game that sent them on their way to a first-round bye. That game was at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Rams made a series of high-profile moves since, adding wide receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, among others.

They're certainly formidable enough to get the Vikings' attention quickly.

"It's a tough loss, but I think we're ready to dive right into L.A.," center Pat Elflein said. "It's a short week; we have to get on them right away, get our focus on them. Short-term memory is something you have to have in this league, whether it's having a bad play and you have to move on to the next, or a week that didn't go the way you wanted it to. You have to go right into the next one. So that's the mood around here right now. We're ready to start game-planning for L.A."

Hughes sees jump in snap count

The Vikings haven't been afraid to throw Mike Hughes into the fire early in his NFL career.

The rookie cornerback was a mainstay on the Vikings defense on Sunday, playing both in the slot and on the outside against the Bills.

John Holler of Viking Update caught up with Hughes on Monday to chat about his extensive playing time in his third NFL game.

One of the plans for Sunday's game was to get rookie Mike Hughes ready to play in the slot, ideally sharing time with Mackensie Alexander and rolling with the hot hand as the game went on. Hughes took almost all of reps during the week of practice at the nickel corner spot in the slot, but, when Trae Waynes went down in the first quarter, those plans had to be scuttled. Hughes moved outside to Waynes' spot in the defense.

After playing just 21 snaps (27 percent of the team total) the previous week against Green Bay in a game when the Vikings played almost exclusively in the nickel, Hughes played on 53 snaps (79 percent) Sunday, taking on a full workload after Waynes went down.

"You always have to be prepared for somebody going down and the plan changing," Hughes said. "You always hear 'next man up' for a reason. I have to learn both positions and that came into play yesterday. I stepped in and did my job."

Hughes has one interception on the season, which he returned 28 yards for a touchdown in Week 1 against the 49ers.

Look back on images from past games between the Vikings and the Rams.

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