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NOTEBOOK: Vikings Hope Lions DT Harrison Doesn’t Snack on Sunday

EAGAN, Minn. — Damon Harrison might have one of the best Twitter handles in the league, as the Lions defensive tackle simply goes by @snacks on the social media site.

It turns out that Harrison, who the Lions acquired in a trade with the Giants last week, is quite the football player, too.

The defensive lineman played his first game with Detroit on Sunday, registering a sack and two tackles for loss just days after joining his new team.

Those in the Vikings organization took note of Detroit’s addition of Harrison, who played the first four seasons of his career with the Jets after signing as an undrafted free agent out of William Penn in 2012. He then began playing for the Giants in 2016 but was traded earlier this month.

“I think bringing in Harrison at the nose guard is a good addition for them,” said Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. “I think he’s a great player; I played against him in the NFC East a fair amount and always felt like he had a great impact on the game.

“So he’s a great player, and we’ll have our hands full with him,” Cousins added.

Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was a Jets teammate of Harrison’s from 2013-2015, and knows the challenge that Minnesota’s offensive line will face Sunday at home.

“Stout, hard to move, but definitely is a guy that wants it,” Sheldon described of Harrison. “He was an undrafted guy, feels like he’s better than that, still plays with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s what he brings, day-in and day-out.”

But back to that Twitter handle, which is also Harrison’s nickname, as the lineman simply goes by ‘Snacks.’

Richardson revealed some details on how the impact defensive tackle for his humorous moniker.

“He had that name before I got there,” Richardson said. “Supposedly he had Rice Krispies Treats in his socks during walk-through with [former Jets head coach] Rex [Ryan], and they’ve been calling him ‘Snacks’ ever since.”

Harrison, who was an All-Pro in 2016 with the Giants, has 6.5 career sacks and three forced fumbles.

Vikings react to Tate trade

The Vikings won’t see a foe who has been a thorn in their side in recent years on Sunday.

Detroit traded Golden Tate to the Eagles on Tuesday, choosing to part ways with a wide receiver who had done plenty of damage against Minnesota.

Tate had 45 receptions for 368 yards and two scores in eight career games against the Vikings as a member of the Lions. Perhaps his most notable game in the division rivalry came in 2016 at U.S. Bank Stadium when he posted 11 receptions for 79 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown catch in overtime to give Detroit a 22-16 win.

Tate evaded Xavier Rhodes on that score, and the Vikings cornerback said Wednesday that he was a little taken aback by Tate’s departure from Detroit.

“I was surprised by that,” Rhodes said. “That was their main guy on third downs. He was great at yards after the catch. He was probably number one at YAC [yards after the catch].

“I was pretty surprised by that,” added Rhodes, who laughed and comically added he wondered about his own fate when he saw the news. “It was one of those situations where I thought I better check my phone.”

Tate ranks fifth in the NFL with 15 receptions on third downs. He has averaged 13.2 yards per catch on such plays.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer agreed with Rhodes’ take that Tate was exceptional at picking up extra yards.

“He was terrific at that,” Zimmer said. “That is kind of hard to game plan, when a guy breaks tackles.

“He was terrific at that, yes,” Zimmer added. “He caught a lot of balls on third down. He is a good player.

Zimmer said the Vikings will adjust their preparations on the fly.

“It’s difficult, but we just prepare,” Zimmer said. “Really, if a guy gets hurt during the game, you kind of have your secondary plans and things like that going on.”

Detroit wide receiver Kenny Golladay now leads the team with 30 catches for 477 receiving yards, and also has three scores. Wide receiver Marvin Jones, Jr., has a team-high five touchdown catches.

Thielen recognized by Pro Football Hall of Fame

The football that Adam Thielen caught in the fourth quarter to surpass the 100-yard barrier against New Orleans has made its way to Canton, Ohio.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame tweeted out a photo of the ball on display Tuesday to commemorate an outstanding season by Thielen thus far.

The Vikings wide receiver has at least 100 receiving yards in all eight games this season, which is an NFL record for number of games reaching the century mark to start a season.

Thielen is also tied with former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson for the most 100-yard games in a row. Johnson set the record from Week 8 to Week 15 of the 2012 season, the year that he set the single-season receiving record with 1,964 receiving yards.

Thielen is on pace for 1,850 yards, which would be the third-most in a season in league history.

Rhodes on his status, Hill on his start

Rhodes missed Sunday’s game and was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury.

“I’m taking it day by day,” Rhodes said.

“It was pretty frustrating [to miss] Sunday night against the Saints,” Rhodes added. “Any game, period, it’s frustrating to sit on the sideline. I’m here to play football and not being out there is pretty frustrating.”

Vikings rookie cornerback Holton Hill started in Rhodes’ place, playing all 53 defensive snaps in the 30-20 loss.

“I went out there and competed to my best and didn’t want to let the guys around me down. It motivated me to go harder,” Hill said. “It was real valuable. Any chance I get to get out on the field and compete with the guys, it’s real valuable, and I don’t take that for granted. I cherish every rep and every second I’m out there.”

Rhodes is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who was a First-Team All-Pro cornerback in 2017. He had high praise for Hill’s performance against New Orleans.

“Holton played great. He’s played awesome,” Rhodes said. “I think that was a great game. We all played great, we just didn’t come out with the ‘W.’ ”

Injury reports

For the Vikings: Stefon Diggs (rib), Tom Compton (knee), Roc Thomas (hamstring) and Anthony Barr (hamstring) did not practice. Rhodes (foot), Andrew Sendejo (groin), Dalvin Cook (hamstring), Riley Reiff (foot) and Linval Joseph (ankle/knee) were limited.

For the Lions: Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), Taylor Decker (back), Christian Jones (knee), T.J. Lang (hip), Jalen Reeves-Maybin (neck/toe) and Theo Riddick (knee) were limited.

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