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 running back Dalvin Cook led a flock of teammates prior to the Dec. 8 game vs. Detroit.

The Vikings in 2020: Who's back, and who's gone?

Here is a position-by-position, player-by-player breakdown of the 2019 roster, with beat writer Ben Goessling's early predictions for how the roster will look in 2020.
Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes

Vikings cornerback Hughes sustained broken neck vertebra

Mike Hughes was first listed on the Vikings' injury report with a neck injury after the team's Week 17 game against the Bears; he played 28 of the team's 75 snaps in the game
Mike Zimmer held a season-ending press briefing Monday morning at TCO Performance Center in Eagan

'A young man's game.' Zimmer facing tough calls with defensive veterans

For the first time in his six seasons as Vikings head coach, Mike Zimmer and his staff will be facing personnel decisions that could be some of the most difficult they've had to make.
Defensive end Everson Griffen and his Vikings teammates cleaned out their lockers on Sunday at TCO Performance Center in Eagan.

Changes ahead: How committed are Vikings to their current approach?

Changes to the coaching staff began Sunday with Kevin Stefanski being named Cleveland's head coach, and there are big questions ahead on and off the field.
San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (20) tackled Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) in the first quarter just short of a first

Season-ending loss creates unsettling questions for Vikings

As the season ended, what stood out most was perhaps the size of the gap between the Vikings and the 49ers team that will host the NFC Championship Game next Sunday.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen enters Saturday’s playoff game vs. the 49ers with an ankle injury, but the Vikings need him to be a big part of the game

The Call: Can Vikings continue their roll and defy logic again?

There's something to be said for a team that's starting to believe in itself.
Adam Thielen warmed up before the Vikings’ victory in New Orleans on Sunday.

Thielen gets stitches for cut on ankle after practice mishap

It appears Vikings fans should be cautiously optimistic about Adam Thielen playing in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game against the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

Vikings battling a 49ers team that looks very, very familiar

You'll find the handprints of veteran coach Mike Shanahan all over the NFC playoffs. His son coaches the 49ers and there are strong connections to the Vikings and Packers, too.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) had 31 touches against the Saints on Sunday, including this 1-yard touchdown run over New Orleans outside lineba

Vikings' Cook was 'banged up,' not injured, before heavy workload

The running back had 31 touches against the Saints, including 28 carries, but says he's fine now.
Everson Griffen was part of a strong defensive effort by the Vikings on Sunday against the Saints. They will have to do it all over again on Saturday

Vikings quickly put Saints win behind them and prepare for short week

With the 49ers up next on Saturday, their wild-card win is already ancient history.
The Vikings’ Adam Thielen had only his second 100-yard receiving game of the season Sunday.

Adam Thielen looked like the Thielen of old in Vikings' playoff victory over Saints

Season took positive turn with big game against New Orleans.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught the winning touchdown over New Orleans cornerback P.J. Williams in overtime.

Next challenge: Top-seed 49ers after Vikings stun Saints in overtime

Kirk Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph with a 4-yard touchdown pass in overtime for the win. Next up is a Saturday game at San Francisco, the NFC's top seed.
Kirk Cousins will make only his second NFL playoff start on Sunday against the Saints — and his first as a Viking.

Only a chosen few, like Vikings' Cousins, can relate to weekly pressures

Kirk Cousins and a growing group of NFL quarterbacks have bonded through an online devotional group and started working with Christian ministry Pro Athletes Outreach.
Mike Zimmer found out the Vikings’ first playoff foe via text in the middle of the night.

Vikings embracing role of underdog with rugged playoff path ahead

The team is confident as they prepare to face the Saints; the oddsmakers, not so much.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watched from the sidelines in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

After loss, Vikings 'turn the page' and will face New Orleans

Chicago rallied for a 21-19 win on an Eddy Piniero field goal with 48 seconds left. Minnesota will play on the road as the No. 6 seed Sunday at the Saints
Sean Mannion had the ball in his hand. Kirk Cousins (right) didn’t. Those circumstances are likely to play out again at some point Sunday.

The call on Vikings-Bears: Little to play for, but ...

… only one of these teams is preparing for the postseason.
Linebacker Eric Kendricks (left) and running back Dalvin Cook won't play for the Vikings against the Bear on Sunday as they recover from various injur

Kendricks, Cook will sit out Vikings game against Bears

The team's middle linebacker suffered a quadriceps injury in Monday's loss to the Packers, while the running back continues to heal from chest and shoulder injuries.
The Vikings are locked in to the NFC’s No. 6 seed, which means backups such as quarterback Sean Mannion might see extensive playing time against the

Zimmer debates whether to rest or play Vikings starters on Sunday

With the Vikings' playoff position secured, Mike Zimmer and his assistants have options on who to play against the Bears in their last regular-season game.
Green Bay Packers Za'darius Smith (55) sacked Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the fourth quarter.

Smacked by the Pack: Vikings offense disappears in defeat

Green Bay's defense was a major reason the Packers controlled the NFC North this season. On Monday night, that defense was a major reason the Packers clinched the division title.
Mike Boone, who had five carries vs. Detroit in Week 14, is in line for a starring role Monday night because of injuries to the Vikings’ top two bac

The Call: What to watch for in Vikings-Packers game

The Vikings won't have Dalvin Cook, but should find room to run against a suspect Packers defense.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the game after a hit on this play by Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr in 2017.

Vikings-Packers rivalry got turned up a few notches in the 2010s

The decade began with the Packers winning their fourth Super Bowl. It ends with the teams tussling for a division title that's been in Minnesota more often than Green Bay over the past five years.
Vikings long snapper Austin Cutting.

Dan Bailey, Austin Cutting stand out on Vikings' special teams

Special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf made a point to praise his rookie long snapper Friday.
Three Vikings were named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday (clockwise from top): safety Harrison Smith, defensive end Danielle Hunter and running back Dalvin

Smith, Cook, Hunter named to Pro Bowl; Cousins, Hendricks fall short

The Vikings will send Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter and Dalvin Cook — but not Eric Kendricks or Kirk Cousins — to the Pro Bowl next month.
Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (95) celebrated his 56 yard fumble recovery touchdown run .

Vikings on verge of playoff berth after beating fumbling, bumbling Chargers

The Vikings forced seven turnovers in a game for the first time in almost a quarter-century and could have a playoff berth locked up even before playing the Packers next Monday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
This could be U.S. Bank Stadium — but it’s not. This is a section of Vikings fans cheering on their team against the New York Giants on Oct. 6 at

Their home is your home: Vikings fans hit the road to follow their team

Home-field advantage isn't what it used to in some places thanks to a bigger traveling contingent, as fans get comfy in opposing stadiums.
Philip Rivers (17) remains a dangerous passer at age 38, but the longtime Chargers quarterback also is third in the NFL with 15 interceptions.

The Call: Vikings typically not their best out west

An abundance of purple-clad fans might not be enough to push the Vikings on top.
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.