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Vikings Transition Back to TCO After Closure, Focus on Texans

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings received zero positive results from multiple forms of COVID-19 tests, the team announced Thursday, as players and coaches got back to work at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Players, coaches and staff took a PCR test Wednesday, and all results came back negative within 24 hours. They took the same PCR test Thursday, but also took a POC test that provided results within an hour.

The Vikings have now gone three straight days without a positive test after multiple Titans players and coaches that participated in last Sunday's game tested positive.

Game-planning meetings held Tuesday were virtual, as were Wednesday meetings between players and coaches that took the place of on-field walk-through and practice.

Vikings Co-Defensive Coordinators Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer said having a virtual offseason helped players and coaches manage this week, as did the organization's adaptability.

"I thought it was a real smooth transition," Patterson said. "[Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has done] a great job with it. I don't think the players felt inconvenienced because, like Adam said, we've done it before and Zim' gave the team the appearance that it was just normal.

"And [Vikings Vice President of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman has] done a good job keeping us all safe and keeping us aware of what's going on," Patterson added. "I think the guys around here feel comfortable."

Adam Zimmer said: "It's been a different week. I think that we're trained for it now because we've done it so much in the past. It wasn't that much of an adjustment with the guys, they know how it goes with the virtual meeting and virtual walkthroughs that we've had to do. So at least we've been able to do it in the past and it's not completely foreign to us."

From a player standpoint, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins echoed Mike Zimmer's mantra from Wednesday that the team will be prepared for Sunday's scheduled game against the Texans.

Kickoff from Houston is slated for noon (CT) on FOX.

"You just roll with it and react to what you're being told to do and get the work done still and do the best you can," Cousins said. "It's similar to how we approached much of the offseason program and training camp. I think it's been handled well and we'll keep at it.

"Just do the best you can and cover everything in meetings and get on the field [Thursday] obviously and throughout the rest of the week and still get all your work in," Cousins added. "Go to Houston, and the goal is to get the job done regardless of what the weekly schedule looks like."

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf provided a pair of anecdotes on how he's handled an unusual week.

"It hasn't been bad. We had some really good virtual meetings. Our guys are dialed-in," Maalouf said. "My wife was like, 'What are you doing here?' type of thing. That's as weird as it gets. Don't mess up her routine, her daily routine with the kids, but we were watching film from home still. It's amazing what you can do from home now.

"I know the entire world now kind of sees that and does it, so for us to adapt, we adapt and move on. It is what it is," Maalouf added. "I'm just happy that so far everybody is healthy, so that's what really matters, and we're ready to go."

Vikings players and coaches emphasized before the season that it would take personal responsibility from everyone to ensure the virus stays outside of TCO Performance Center.

And even though the team has had some uneasy moments in recent days, Maalouf said Thursday that the team must continue to be cautious going forward.

"You start second-guessing. You start wondering, 'Who did I say hi to in pregame? Where was I? What did I do? All of those things," Maalouf said. "At the end of the day, you're like, 'I didn't make any contact with anybody.' I probably waved to people from the sideline, which is what I'm going to continue to do.

"So, all of the opposing special teams coaches out there, no disrespect, but you'll get a wave from me from here on out because I'm not getting close to anyone going forward. You start to wonder, 'Who was it? Was it me?' You don't want to do that," Maalouf added. "I don't want to put myself in that position to jeopardize the rest of our team, so I'm going to be extra careful. My family and I are careful to begin with, but trust me, there's a lot of stuff running through your mind when everybody starts to get some of that information back, regardless of how it happened. I'm glad that so far, knock on wood, we're OK."