Staff Directory 438148813

Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Ben Goessling covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012, and has previously covered the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.


After graduating from Apple Valley High School, Goessling majored in accounting and journalism at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. He coaches high school track and field and cross country, plays electric guitar and enjoys volunteering at Hope Academy in the Phillips neighborhood.
Recent content from Ben Goessling
Vikings center Garrett Bradbury.

Vikings' rookie class is most influential in years

Led by first-round pick Garrett Bradbury — who has a chance to become the first Vikings rookie since 2012 to play every snap of the season — the Vikings' 2019 rookies have stepped into significant roles.
Seattle’s David Moore raced past Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes for a 60-yard touchdown catch Monday night.

'I should never react that way.' Rhodes apologizes for meltdown

After being badly beaten on a long touchdown pass, Xavier Rhodes argued with Mike Zimmer, threw his helmet and shoved a teammate. "I know my role," Rhodes said. "I need to play it better."
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) sat on the field after a fumble in the third quarter.

Vikings dig too deep of a hole, fall to Seahawks 37-30

Seattle scored 24 unanswered points in the second half, using a strong running game and a long touchdown pass that led to a shouting match between Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson (being interviewed by Fox sideline reporter Pam Oliver) has established himself as an MVP contender this season, an

The Call: Vikings-Seahawks battle in Seattle

If the Vikings are going to deliver their most important road victory in four years, they'll have to surmount Seahawks quarterback and MVP candidate Russell Wilson.
Dec. 10, 2018, at Seattle: The Vikings lost 21-7 to the Seahawks, during which this fourth-quarter pass intended for Stefon Diggs was broken up by Sea

On the road, in Seattle, facing Wilson: Vikings facing big tasks

For a coach who's long said he loves proving people wrong, Mike Zimmer can put a big prize in his cross hairs on Monday night when the Vikings play at Seattle.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen played catch with his son, Asher, before a game on Nov. 17 at U. S. Bank Stadium.

Still sidelined: Another setback keeps Thielen out of Seattle game

Adam Thielen had targeted Monday's game in Seattle as an opportunity to return, but sources said his hamstring injury flared up again during a practice.
Adam Thielen

Return of Thielen would boost Vikings' passing game

A hamstring injury has sidelined Adam Thielen for most of the past five games. It appears Thielen will be back for Monday's game in Seattle.
Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins looked passed the ball to Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the third quarter.

Cousins checks off all of the boxes during extended run of strong play

Kirk Cousins' name has crept into MVP conversations, as the result of a seven-game run in which he's completed 73.3% of his passes for 2,020 yards and 18 touchdowns against one interception.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was lifted up by offensive tackle Brian O’Neill after he scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Denver.

Vikings GM Spielman on Cook: 'He just has a unique trait'

The Vikings have been able to put Dalvin Cook in the zone scheme he ran at Florida State, and he's averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season as the Vikings head into their bye week.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) and linebacker Eric Wilson (50) stopped Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay for no gain in the first half

Vikings rest up before five-game finish will decide their season

The late bye week gives the Vikings a chance to get healthy before their big December slate.
Dalvin Cook (33) celebrated after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Down by 20, Vikings show plenty to rally past Denver for 27-23 win

Kirk Cousins' three second-half touchdown passes and the Vikings' defensive resolve lead to the team's biggest comeback since 1992.
Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen won his first NFL start Nov. 3 against the Browns as Joe Flacco’s injury replacement.

Vikings figure to take care of Broncos, reach bye at 8-3

THE CALL As formidable as the Vikings have been at home so far this season, it's tough to see them losing this one against an unproven quarterback like Brandon Allen.
Vikings fullback C.J. Ham.

Kubiak's offense gives life to old-school Vikings fullbacks

If the fullback is something of an endangered species in the NFL, the Vikings' scheme can be considered a refuge. And if that's the case, Gary Kubiak is one of its caretakers.
Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak.

Broncos' loss of coaches is Vikings offense's gain

Mike Zimmer said the Vikings' addition of Gary Kubiak is "probably the best thing that's happened to me since I've been here."

Dalvin Cook 2019 vs. Adrian Peterson 2012: It's a fair comparison

Cook is ahead of Peterson's pace for total yards and touchdowns after 10 Vikings games.
Minnesota Vikings' safety Jayron Kearse came up with the interception in the end zone in the last play for a Vikings 28-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys

Vows made, vows kept: Vikings meet challenge by beating Dallas

The Vikings had fashioned a 6-3 record going into Sunday night knowing they hadn't won the kinds of games that are unavoidable in any kind of a meaningful playoff run. That changed against Dallas.
Linval Joseph (98)

Vikings nose tackle Joseph sidelined by knee surgery

It isn't known how long Linval Joseph will be out of action, but it's worth noting the team didn't make a move to put him on injured reserve after the operation.
Vikings at Cowboys: Injury to Linval Joseph leaves big hole to fill

Vikings at Cowboys: Injury to Linval Joseph leaves big hole to fill

Story lines to follow for Sunday night's game, plus a final score prediction.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins yelled over a loud crowd to call a play in the fourth quarter during Sunday's 26-23 loss at Kansas City.

Vikings aren't alone in road struggles against NFL's top teams

The number, however you'd like to cut them, aren't good for the Vikings. But only six teams in the NFL have won more than two of five games on the road against better-than-.500 opponents.
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs tried to tackle Andrew Sendejo of the Eagles on Oct. 13 after Sendejo intercepted a sideline pass that deflected off Dig

Sendejo returning to Vikings after being waived by Eagles

Veteran safety Andrew Sendejo played eight seasons in Minnesota before leaving as a free agent.
Kirk Cousins’ 50% completion rate Sunday against the Chiefs was his second-worst of the season.

Too much information? Cousins takes apart game after Kansas City loss

Coach Mike Zimmer was more unhappy with his offensive line than with Kirk Cousins, except for the fact that his quarterback "gave up way too much information" in discussing his performance.
Chiefs running back Damien Williams broke away from Vikings free safety Harrison Smith's grasp as he ran for a 91-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

October gain, November pain: Big plays undo Vikings in last-second loss

As October's wins over teams with middling records gave way to a daunting second-half road schedule, Kansas City defeated the Vikings in part because they slipped their moorings in the 26-23 loss.
Adam Thielen

Will Thielen, Mahomes play Sunday? We'll know just before gametime

The Vikings officially listed wide receiver Adam Thielen as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and defensive end Everson Griffen talked while they walked out for an afternoon practice.

Staying fresh: Vikings ease up on workouts to prepare for game days

The Vikings have tried to preserve the health of their players with an emphasis on rest and recovery that head coach Mike Zimmer admits is "against my nature a little bit."
Washington’s Adrian Peterson hugged former teammate, Vikings reciever Adam Thielen, after Thursday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Doctson, Thielen back for Vikings; Zimmer 'ticked' after Kearse arrest

Though Vikings defensive back Jayron Kearse apologized on Monday for his arrest over the weekend, coach Mike Zimmer didn't sugarcoat his feelings on the issue.
Cornerback Holton Hill played during the preseason for the Vikings before serving his eight-game NFL suspension.

Cornerback Hill returns to Vikings, but can he regain their trust?

Second-year cornerback Holton Hill wants to earn his team's trust back after two four-game suspensions for violating league drug policies.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter separated Redskins quarterback Case Keenum from the football during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on Th

Workmanlike Vikings grind out 19-9 victory over Washington

Dan Bailey booted four field goals, then let the offense run the ball and eat the clock while the defense throttled the Redskins offense.
Adam Thielen held his right hamstring as he walked off the field in the first quarter Sunday in Detroit. Thielen will not play Thursday.

Thursday Night Football: Expect a Vikings victory over Washington, even without Thielen

A strong defensive performance, and opportunities for Dalvin Cook to run, should help the Vikings build a comfortable lead.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen was helped from the field Sunday in Detroit after suffering a hamstring injury on a first-quarter touchdown.

Thielen doesn't practice, but hopes to play against Washington

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen said he's doing everything he can to try and be on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium for Thursday night's game.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen injured his right hamstring while catching a 25-yard touchdown pass against the Lions on Sunday. If he's not able t

Thielen unlikely to play Thursday night; rookie Johnson ready to step up

Adam Thielen's hamstring injury is expected to keep him out of Thursday's game against Washington. Instead, the Vikings will turn to rookie receiver Bisi Johnson and expect a few others to step up in the passing attack.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) celebrated his fourth quarter touchdown run at Ford Field.with Irv Smith. Jr.

Cousins, Cook lead bold Vikings attack as defense struggles in 42-30 win

The Vikings' early-season offensive frustration was further buried under 503 yards gained, four touchdown passes by Kirk Cousins and aggressive play calling that held off the Lions.
Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs stretches for yardage after being stopped by Lions cornerback Darius Slay in 2017.

Vikings expect Lions to try clamping down on Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen

Detroit coach Matt Patricia favors aggressive man-to-man coverage on star wide receivers. The Vikings' Stefon Diggs relishes the challenge, saying "you've just got to get open."
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins looked downfield for a pass in the third quarter against the Eagles on Sunday.

Vikings offensive line provides Cousins enough time to look deep

The Vikings' pass protection was praised after the QB able to find targets downfield against the Eagles.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacted after scoring a touchdown early in the second quarter.

Fly, Vikings, fly: Diggs big as Vikings follow script to smack Eagles

Stefon Diggs caught three touchdown passes, including plays of 62 and 51 yards in a 2 1/2-minute span, as the Vikings jumped to an early lead and crushed a Philadelphia comeback attempt with more offense.
The Eagles’ No. 1 run defense could turn running downs into passing downs for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Game preview: Vikings vs. Eagles

The Vikings could have a tough time establishing a ground game against the NFL's No. 1 run defense.
Ifeadi Odenigbo was fired up as he took the field for pregame warmups in Green Bay on Sept. 15.

Final-round pick to first sack: Odenigbo gets playing time the hard way

Ifeadi Odenigbo, a former seventh-round pick, has found a role with the Vikings, even if it took some trial, error, diet changes and new ZIP codes to get there.
Kirk Cousins met with reporters following Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Vikings' Cousins on request to call President Trump: 'Very random'

"When the president calls ... I'm going to give him a call and see what he needs."
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer protested a call with a game official in the fourth quarter against the Giants on Sunday.

Vikings seek solutions after burst of penalties clouds win over Giants

Once the ball is snapped, coach Mike Zimmer said, the Vikings' penalties are frequently a result of being in poor positions that tempt players to grab.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen caught a 15-yrds touchdown pass for a touchdown in the second quarter.

A fine afternoon as offense leads Vikings to 28-10 win over Giants

Kirk Cousins passed for 306 yards and Dalvin Cook rolled up 216 yards of offense, while Adam Thielen caught two touchdown passes and Stefon Diggs said he wanted to be in Minnesota despite being fined more than $200,000 for two days away from the team last week.
There would be no fastball feast for the Twins against Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who improved to 6-0 against them.

Tanaka and his off-speed arsenal baffles Twins again

The Twins' working knowledge of how to handle Yankees 30-year-old righthander Masahiro Tanaka amounted to little.
Stefon Diggs tried to get away from Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on Sunday.

Diggs sits out Vikings practice for 'non-injury' reasons

It isn't known whether Diggs' absence is a sign of dissatisfaction with the team, but he appeared upset on the sidelines at various points during Sunday's loss.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook found little room to run Sunday against the Bears, gaining only 35 yards in 14 carries in the 16-6 loss.

Running game runs Vikings into all kinds of trouble in Bears loss

Even though Chicago was playing without two of its star defensive players, the Vikings' overhauled running game was brought to a standstill. Will future opponents adopt the Bears' tactics.
Dalvin Cook of the Vikings was upended by Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Without Trubisky, Bears use defense to sack Vikings

Kirk Cousins was taken down six times and lost a fumble as the Vikings fell into last place in the NFC North after a 16-6 defeat at Soldier Field.
NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook and the rest of the Vikings offense will face a Chicago Bears team on Sunday that led the NFL in run defense in 2018.

In today's pass-happy NFL, the Vikings cut against the grain

Conventional wisdom on Sundays says pass, pass, pass, but the Vikings try to find their own sweet spot on the ground. They've run the ball on 103 of their 168 plays, a 61.3% clip
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was pressured late in the fourth quarter by Bears linebacker Isaiah Irving at U.S. Bank Stadium last December 30

Cousins eager to 'go down to Soldier Field and make amends'

Before his first game against the Bears of the 2019 season on Sunday, Kirk Cousins on Wednesday made it clear last season's pair of losses still irk him.
Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell was cut out of training camp but on Tuesday signed back with the team for depth.

Welcome back: Treadwell, Sherels return to Vikings after Beebe injury

With receiver Chad Beebe out because of torn ligaments in his ankle, the Vikings reached back into their recent past for some receiver depth before Sunday's game against the Bears.
Irv Smith Jr. had three catches for 60 yards on Sunday, one of the most productive days for a rookie tight end in Vikings history.

Catching on quickly: Rookie Smith shows he can boost Vikings attack

For just the third time since the start of the 2018 season, the Vikings' leading receiver Sunday was not named Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph or Adam Thielen.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter.

Vikings running game cooks Raiders all the way through

Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison ran for touchdowns as the Vikings had 211 yards rushing and, for the second time playing at home, didn't throw a pass in ther fourth quarter.
Jon Gruden is coaching in Minneapolis for the first time since 2005, when victory over the Vikings started Tampa Bay’s 11-5 season.

Vikings must beware being heavily favored vs. Raiders

Recall what happened a year ago against the Bills.
Mike Hughes was sidelined for Vikings preseason games.

Hughes might return for Vikings; decision likely Friday

Whether Mike Hughes returns from a torn ACL on Sunday against the Raiders remains subject to clearance from the team's medical staff.
Everson Griffen fired up teammates before Sunday’s game in Green Bay.

Griffen 'continuing to take the proper steps' after tumultuous 2018

A year removed from a well-publicized mental health issue, Everson Griffen is 'one of the hardest working guys we've got,' according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
It was a rough day Sunday in Green Bay for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8).

Cousins knows he must move beyond mistakes made in Packers loss

Kirk Cousins believes his future with the Vikings is on the line. "I'm not going to be playing quarterback here much longer if I go out and play the way I did this past Sunday."
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs caught a pass in the end zone for what looked to be a second-quarter touchdown against the Packers on Sunday, but the pl

Penalty on Cook was poor use of new replay rule, Zimmer says

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer insisted the video review of Stefon Diggs' nullified touchdown misread the actions of Dalvin Cook, who was called for pass interference on the play.
Packers cornerback Kevin King intercepted a ball intended for Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the end zone during the fourth quarter.

'Disappointed in my performance.' Cousins accepts heat for mistake-filled loss

After Green Bay jumped to an early 21-0 lead the Vikings were their own worst enemies as their rally attempt fell short, with quarterback Kirk Cousins having one of the worst games of his pro career.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer shook players hands before kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium last week.

Despite injuries, Zimmer feels 'good' about Vikings' cornerback depth

Mackensie Alexander, who dislocated his right elbow Sunday against the Falcons, won't play against the Packers, and Mike Hughes — still working his way back from a torn ACL -- is listed as doubtful.
Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph tackled Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a sack during the fourth quarter last week at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Defense steps into spotlight in this year's Border Battle at Lambeau

In something of an odd twist for a rivalry that's revolved around offensive headliners for nearly 30 years, the defenses could be the keys to Sunday's game between the Vikings and Packers.
Kirk Cousins

Cousins' NFL career got an early boost from new Packers coach LaFleur

When Matt LaFleur coaches his first regular-season game at Lambeau Field, he'll try to slow down the quarterback he helped bring into the NFL. Kirk Cousins will be trying to win for the first time in Green Bay.
Adam Thielen at Brooklyn Center High School on Tuesday.

Thielen foundation launches program to reward academic success with athletic equipment

Upgrades arrived at Brooklyn Center High School courtesy of Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen's charitable foundation, and Thielen and his wife, Caitlin, foresee more coming.
Vikings safety Jayron Kearse (27) has gone from a raw defensive back to a key contributor who earned a special teams captain role for the 2019 season.

If Alexander's out, Vikings comfortable turning to Kearse

Safety Jayron Kearse might need to fill in if cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes are unavailable.
Dalvin Cook celebrated a touchdown during the first quarter.of Sunday's 28-12 victory.

Vikings show off in opener by running Atlanta into the ground

Tests ahead, starting with the Green Bay Packers next Sunday at Lambeau Field, will likely require more balance than what the Vikings showed in Sunday's 28-12 victory over the Falcons.
The Vikings went 8-7-1 in Kirk Cousins’ first season in Minnesota. Cousins threw for 30 touchdowns.

Cousins has new offense and new comfort level with Vikings

The offensive overhaul has resulted in a familiar scheme for Kirk Cousins (after the addition of Gary Kubiak as assistant head coach) and more accouterments for the quarterback.
Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski spoke with quarterback Kirk Cousins during Week 3 of the preseason vs. the Arizona Cardinals

Showtime: Things about to get real for offensive coordinator Stefanski

The Vikings made some moves in hopes of sparing Kevin Stefanski from a rocky start in his first full season of calling offensive plays.
Josh Doctson (18) in Redskins training camp on July 26.

Discarded Washington receiver Doctson reunited with Cousins

Two days after cutting Laquon Treadwell, the Vikings made a move to add the other wide receiver who piqued their interest in the 2016 draft.
Britton Colquitt

Veteran punter Colquitt signs with Vikings

Kaare Vedvik was claimed by the Jets off waivers, preventing him from joining the practice squad.
Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell.

Cut day: Treadwell's time with Vikings runs out

Former first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell was among the Vikings cuts on Saturday, a group that also included kicker Kaare Vedvik and QBs Kyle Sloter and Jake Browning.
Vikings quarterback Kyle Sloter looks downfield in the third quarter vs. the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 of the preseason.

Another strong preseason for Vikings QB Sloter means just what exactly?

Kyle Sloter should see plenty of action in his team's final preseason game tonight at Buffalo. His fourth-quarter preseason heroics have earned him a cult following among Vikings fans.
Former first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell might be playing his final game for the Vikings on Thursday.

Cutdowns get closer: Projecting Vikings roster as preseason nears an end

As the Vikings began preparations Monday for their final preseason game, they took something of a novel approach with starters and some others who won't be playing.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is taken down in the second quarter

Zimmer laments 'poor performance' by starters in Vikings' preseason victory

Vikings' starters slogged through their third preseason game, a performance sour enough to earn an unsparing critique from coach Mike Zimmer. Kirk Cousins faltered, completing only three of 13 passes.
Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly is doing double duty, preparing for the season and post-NFL life.

Weatherly stars in Vikings' program to prepare players for post-NFL careers

Stephen Weatherly spent a week as the test pilot for the Vikings' new Player Executive Leadership Program, an internship the team hopes can eventually enrich their players' professional prospects for life after football.
Seattle running back Travis Homer (25) is upended by Vikings defender Bene Benwikere, left, during the second half of Sunday's game.

Depth in Vikings defensive backfield being called into question

Heading into the Vikings' final two games of the preseason, the challenge before the team's young defensive backs is this: They must improve on their uneven play.
Vikings running back Mike Boone ran for 45 yards before being stopped by Seahawks’ linebacker Mychal Kendricks during the second quarter Sunday nigh

Vikings top nemesis Seahawks as new offense controls game

The Vikings were on offense for more than two-thirds of the game in the 25-19 victory over Seattle that featured 11 third-down conversions in 18 tries. "I thought we moved the ball well," coach Mike Zimmer said.
Neither Kirk Cousins, above, nor any other Vikings quarterback was sacked in the preseason opener in New Orleans last week.

Vikings offensive line shows progress, but it's too early to tell

Kirk Cousins says improvement can't be judged yet at this point of the preseason.
After getting only three starts in both 2016 and 2017, Anthony Harris stepped in for an injured Andrew Sendejo last season and solidified one safety s

Harris joins Harrison: Vikings finally get some stability at safety

In his fifth season with the Vikings, Anthony Harris will join the starting line-up, teaming up with All-Pro safety Harrison Smith in the secondary.
Dan Bailey tried a field goal on Tuesday at Vikings training camp after Austin Cutting (58) snapped the ball to holder Chad Beebe. Bailey was 7-for-7

Bailey? Vedvik? Wile? Vikings still have no clarity in kicking game

Coach Mike Zimmer said he plans to take a look at all three players in the Vikings' second preseason game against Seattle on Sunday.
Kaare Vedvik showed off his punting skills on his first day with the Vikings. He might end up with that job, or he might end up being their placekicke

Kicker? Punter? Answer to a problem? Vedvik joins the Vikings

Trading for Kaare Vedvik leaves the Vikings with another round of decisions to make about their specialists — long an enigma on the roster — as the preseason plays out.