News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Vikings Early Departure was an Early Decision

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Mike Zimmer made multiple critical decisions late in Sunday's overtime win against the Rams, including defending with the wind** at the team's back instead of the opening kickoff of OT.

This week's trip to the West Coast will involve a decision Zimmer made far earlier.

The Vikings (6-2) are opting to travel to California on Friday instead of Saturday to prepare to face the Raiders (4-4) at 3:05 p.m. Sunday.

Some speculated that the decision was influenced by trying to prevent a repeat of Minnesota's performance in a season-opening loss at the San Francisco 49ers, but that's not the case.

"I had already made my decision," Zimmer said Thursday. "We have to do that way before [the season started].

"A lot of East Coast teams do it when they're going on the West Coast," Zimmer added. "I know we're not East Coast, but I would have done it when we played San Francisco, but it was a Monday night game and I didn't want it to seem like we were going to be out there six days."

Running back Adrian Peterson, who is leading the NFL with 758 rushing yards said, "I think it's going to be good for us to kind of get a day to get acclimated."

Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer said he doesn't think going out early for the 9:20 p.m. (CT) season-opener would have been more productive, but he supports this decision. The only problem, Priefer said, is that it will require him to miss his daughter's 17th birthday.

"I think it's a good idea because you get out there, it's a long flight, guys get two good night's rest, we kind of go through our normal routine on Saturday morning with the meetings and the walk-through and having some time off in the afternoon and meetings at night again," Priefer said. "I think it's a good idea and hopefully it will help us in our preparation. I think it will, and we'll go from there.

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