EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Brian Robison will soon hit the century mark.
The Vikings defensive end is slated to make his 100th NFL start on Sunday against the Colts, a feat only three others on Minnesota's roster (Cornerback Terence Newman, linebacker Chad Greenway and running back Adrian Peterson) have accomplished.
"Somebody told me that earlier this week, so pretty honored to be able to stay healthy," Robison said. "God has blessed me in that aspect of things. It's a special deal to be a part of.
"Anytime you can play this game as long as some of us have been able to play it, to be able to say you've got 100 career starts, it's an awesome experience to be a part of," he added.
Robison, a fourth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, is in his 10th season in Purple. He has 55.5 career sacks, good for 10th all-time in franchise history.
The Texas native has 28 total tackles and 10 tackles for loss this season, and leads the Vikings with three forced fumbles.
And with 7.0 sacks in 2016, he has a chance to match or best his career-high of 9.0 set in 2013.
Robison said attaining a double-digit total would be a welcome milestone.
"That'd be a huge honor," Robison said. "It's something I've wanted to do since I've gotten in this league.
"I've been close many times but just haven't been able to do it," he added. "You've just got to take it one play at a time. If it happens, it happens. If not, you just keep chugging along."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has liked what he's seen from the 33-year-old Robison, who was voted a team captain this season.
"We're asking him to do a lot of different things, and I think he's had some situations where he's gotten some good 1-on-1s," Zimmer said. "Obviously his sack totals are up, but I think we're trying to kind of keep the number of plays, number of reps kind of manageable so he's not trying to play every single play, which I think is helping him and will continue to help him down the road.
"But he's really taken initiative into really leading that group," Zimmer added.
Robison is third on the Vikings in sacks this season, trailing the 10.5 by Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen's 8.0 sacks.
The veteran defensive end said he's always brought his lunch pail to work, he's just happened to get to the quarterback a few more times this season than in recent years.
"I don't think I've done anything totally different or anything like that. I just think opportunities have presented themselves a little bit more. If I have to credit anybody, it's the guys around me. They've helped me achieve a lot of things this year."
Weatherly makes NFL debut
Stephen Weatherly's climb has been slow and steady since being drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The defensive end showed progression through rookie minicamp and training camp to be added to the Vikings practice squad in early September. He then kept working away, getting elevated to the 53-man roster last month before making his NFL debut Sunday in Jacksonville.
"It was a steady increase," Weatherly said. "I think I've been getting better each week and I think the coaches noticed, that's why they called me up and allowed me to dress for that game.
"It was day by day, week by week, month by month," he added. "I got a chance to prove what I had."
Weatherly played 11 snaps on special teams in a 25-16 win over the Jaguars and said he got extra reps when Vikings rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was injured on a special teams play.
"I didn't know what they were going to ask of me, so I was prepared to play on anything — defense or special teams," Weatherly said. "Then, (Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer) came to me when Laquon couldn't go, and he said to go out there and play some punt return and kickoff.
"I used my athleticism and technique that Coach taught me, and I was able to handle my matchup," he added.
Weatherly, who grew up near Atlanta, said he had 10 family members and friends in attendance, including his high school football coach.
The 22-year-old former Vanderbilt University football player didn't show up on the stat sheet in Sunday's win.
Weatherly didn't mind though, especially since he was able to soak in his first NFL action.
"I didn't make any tackles but I did my job," Weatherly said. "Just the way Coach talks about it, if I'm able to do my job and other guys are able to do theirs, then we all execute."
Headed to the Hall
Cleats worn by Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson in the Vikings game against the Cardinals are heading the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rhodes returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown for his first pick six since high school and first of two intercptions against Arizona. Patterson, who also had his cleats displayed in Canton, Ohio, for his 109-yard kickoff return, took the opening kickoff of the second half 104 yards for his fifth kickoff return touchdown.
The duo became the first in NFL history to combine for two returns of 100 or more yards in one game.
View images from the Vikings Thursday, December 15 practice at Winter Park.
For the Vikings: Harrison Smith (ankle), Trae Waynes (concussion), Brandon Fusco (concussion), Laquon Treadwell (ankle) and Justin Trattou (forehead) did not participate. Sam Bradford (right shoulder), Jeremiah Sirles (ankle), Everson Griffen (hip), Joe Berger (concussion) and Marcus Sherels (rib) were limited. Stefon Diggs (knee), Edmond Robinson (hamstring) and Matt Asiata (ankle) fully participated.
For the Colts: WR Donte Moncrief (hamstring), T Joe Reitz (back), T/G Denzelle Good (concussion), WR T.Y. Hilton (back) and DT Arthur Jones (groin) did not practice. QB Andrew Luck (right shoulder/right elbow) was one of Indianapolis' four players who were limited Thursday, along with TE Dwayne Allen (hip), WR Phillip Dorsett (groin) and S T.J. Green (ankle). S Mike Adams (not injury related), CB Vontae Davis (not injury related), RB Frank Gore (not injury related), LB Robert Mathis (bicep) and DT Zach Kerr (concussion) fully participated.