EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — All across the country, football fans will feast on both food and football today.
After all, nothing says Thanksgiving like stuffing yourself with food before settling in for some pigskin on an autumn afternoon.
Vikings players know what that feeling is like, as wide receiver Adam Thielen said earlier this week he had the same ritual each holiday.
"The best thing is that you grow up watching (games) and how fun it was to have that Thanksgiving meal and then sit down on the couch and watch the games," Thielen said. "That's probably the coolest thing … life comes full circle and now I get to play."
The Vikings are on the Thanksgiving docket for the second straight season as Minnesota will square off against the Lions in Detroit at 11:30 a.m. (CT).
Minnesota lost 16-13 to the Lions on a last-second field goal last season.
The Vikings and Lions will be one of three Thanksgiving Day matchups. The Los Angeles Chargers will visit the Dallas Cowboys, and the Washington Redskins will host the New York Giants.
Quarterback Case Keenum has yet to play on the holiday but said he is looking forward to the eyes of the country being on the Vikings in a crucial NFC North showdown.
"I don't know yet. I'll tell you on Thursday," Keenum said when asked his thoughts about playing on Thanksgiving. "I'd say, one, I grew up watching the Cowboys and Detroit play.
"Being from Texas, you'd stuff your face and watch those games," Keenum added. "so it will be cool to be a part of it."
While Thielen — who is less than 100 yards from the 1,000-yard mark — won't be able to spend the whole day on the couch like in years past, the Minnesota native said he's excited for another day of football, food and family.
"I don't really remember much about the performances or anything like that," Thielen said of his memories growing up. "I just remember sitting on the couch super full and ready to take a nap and watching football.
"It's just such a fun day, even for me, just getting done playing and getting back home to have that Thanksgiving dinner and being able to watch football," Thielen added.
While the Vikings are excited to put their 8-2 record on display on national television, they also know the significance of Thursday's game.
Minnesota has lost three straight games to the Lions by a combined 16 points.
The Vikings currently hold a two-game lead in the division and are looking to split the season series with Detroit.
"We've got to make sure we handle business on Thanksgiving so we can come back (home) and have a great Thanksgiving (dinner)," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen.