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NOTEBOOK: Vikings Treating Sunday's Game as Divisional Matchup

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —There are some opponents the Vikings simply know better than others because of how often they square off on the field.

There's Green Bay, of course. And Detroit and Chicago. Not to mention Washington.

Wait, Washington? Yes, believe it or not, the Vikings have met up with the Redskins plenty over the years.

After Sunday, the teams will have met in 10 of the past 13 seasons, including seven of the past eight years. The only seasons in which they haven't played since 2005 were 2008, 2009 and 2015. 

The Vikings are 5-4 against Washington in recent meetings.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said Wednesday that Minnesota is placing extra emphasis on the conference foe, a team that sports a 4-4 record but has finished above .500 in each of the past two seasons.

"It seems like we play them every year," Rudolph said. "Coach Zim' mentioned this earlier, we're kind of treating them as a division game.

"We're very familiar with one another; we've played each other a lot. It's going to be tough," Rudolph said. "I expect them to be right there in the thick of things come December as well."

Minnesota was on the 26-20 losing end of last season's matchup. The Vikings scored three touchdowns in the second quarter but were shut out in the second half.

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said after Wednesday's practice that Sunday will be a stern test in the nation's capital.

"It is different. I think it feels like a divisional game because they're always a really good football team," Thielen said. "We always have our work cut out when we go play them, especially at their place.

"Any road game in the NFL is tough. It's a big game for us. I think every game in this league, nowadays, feels like a divisional game because every game is so big," Thielen said. "It doesn't matter who you're playing or what their record is or where you're playing, it's a big game."

Thielen caught a touchdown pass last season against Washington. Rudolph did, too, which continued a scoring streak.

Rudolph has played Washington three times (2011, 2012 and 2016) and has caught a touchdown pass in each game. 

"Hopefully we can keep that trend going," Rudolph said. "That would be great."

Feeling bad for Bradford

The Vikings added quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to their roster Wednesday, but also put one on Injured Reserve.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer expressed his admiration for the quarterback at his Wednesday media session, saying he had held out hope for a while that Sam Bradford would be able to return to action.

"I have an outstanding relationship with Sam. He is a great person, heck of a quarterback," Zimmer said. "We don't know where he's at with his knee. I haven't talked to him about anything about next year. We're just thinking about this year.

"I love the kid. Great kid, great competitor," Zimmer added. "It was disappointing we had him for one game, but that's life."

Bradford started in Week 1 and had a monster game, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns. But a knee injury suffered in the game hampered him for the past two months.

Bradford's teammates expressed support and admiration for the quarterback on Wednesday. 

"It's definitely a heartbreaker for Sam, knowing the way he started off so great," said Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright. "But Sam is a strong guy, and he'll definitely bounce back like we saw Teddy bounce back. You have to have faith."

Added Rudolph: "He's battled through adversity in his career before, and he hasn't approached this any differently. I know he'll try to get better as quickly as possible."

View images from Wednesday November 8th's practice at Winter Park.

Injury reports

For the Vikings: Mike Remmers (concussion), Everson Griffen (foot), Jeremiah Sirles (knee) and Stephen Weatherly (knee) did not participate.

Anthony Harris (hamstring) and Danny Isidora (ankle) were limited. Michael Floyd (hamstring), Laquon Treadwell (toe), Nick Easton (calf) and Bridgewater (knee) were full participants. 

For the Redskins: Matt Ioannidis (hand), Arthur Jones (shoulder) and Trent Williams (knee) did not participate.

Jamison Crowder (hamstring), Vernon Davis (hand), Shawn Lauvao (stinger), Spencer Long (knee), Morgan Moses (ankle), Montae Nicholson (shoulder), Ty Nsekhe (core muscle), Niles Paul (concussion), Brian Quick (concussion), Jordan Reed (hamstring) and Brandon Scherff (knee) were limited. Bashaud Breeland (shoulder) and Fabian Moreau (ankle) were full participants.

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