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 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.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins attempted a pass in the first quarter.

Cousins showed some spring in his step in preseason opener

In his nine plays in Friday night's 34-25 preseason victory over the Saints, quarterback Kirk Cousins provided a taste of what he hopes to do this season.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen caught a 35-yard pass while being defended by Eli Apple in the first quarter.

New-look Vikings open preseason with 'efficient' victory over Saints

The Vikings covered 76 yards in eight plays with the first-team offense, with a 34-yard Kirk Cousins-to-Adam Thielen connection providing the early highlight of Friday night's preseason opener in New Orleans.
Linval Joseph (98)

Stephen, Joseph, O'Neill sit in Vikings exhibition opener at Saints

Defensive tackles Shamar Stephen and Linval Joseph, as well as offensive tackle Brian O'Neill, were among nine players who did not dress for the Vikings' opening preseason game.
Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander (20) had a few heart-to-heart talks with coach Mike Zimmer about what it would take to see the field before he

After dubious early years, Vikings' Alexander matures into reliable CB

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer explained to Mackensie Alexander in 2016 that there were two paths to take. The cornerback, eventually, took the correct one.
Bene' Benwikere started eight games with Arizona in 2018 before being released and landing with Oakland at the end of the season.

Vikings sign veteran cornerback Benwikere

Bene' Benwikere's arrival extends a seemingly annual tradition of acquiring a veteran for the secondary late in the offseason
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has not been impressed with the defense through one week of training camp.

Zimmer ends first week of Vikings workouts by challenging defense

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called the team's defense complacent, lacking in grit equal to the offense. He added that players they better regain their competitive swagger in practice.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph reached out to catch a pass during practice on Friday.

That other receiver: Cousins wants to make better use of Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph stood out in Wednesday's practice with several contested catches that had quarterback Kirk Cousins saying he needs to trust the tight end more.
Vikings defensive players ran drills during training camp.

Young Vikings defensive linemen aren't quite ready, but they're willing

Injuries to starters have forced players such as tackles Jaleel Johnson and Hercules Mata'afa to take extra snaps, which can be both an invaluable and humbling experience.
Dillon Mitchell (17) is a speedy option as the Vikings search for a capable No. 3 option at wide receiver at training camp.

Options for No. 3 Vikings receiver abound; Zimmer offers critical review

Coach Mike Zimmer gave a pointed review of how the candidates to be the team's third receiver have done during the first few days of training camp.
Vikings fans did the Skol chant during last summer's training camp in Eagan.

Hot summer ticket: Vikings close to selling out training camp

Only reserved seats remain for the first three open practices this weekend as well as the night practice in on Aug. 3. Overall, nearly 72,000 of 80,000 available tickets for the 16 open sessions are sold.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins took snaps behind a line of rookies as the Vikings opened camp Tuesday in Eagan.

Subdued Vikings open camp, trying to forget 2018 failure

If the Vikings' window to win with their largely homegrown collection of talent isn't closing, it's unlikely to get any wider. The 2019 training camp, then, is about moving on from the letdown of 2018.
Kevin Stefanski took over as Vikings offensive coordinator during last season.

'Have you done this before?' Stefanski thrilled having veteran Kubiak on staff

Shortly after Kevin Stefanski filled out his first staff as the Vikings' permanent offensive coordinator, one of his first moves was to give away a piece of his newly acquired influence.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer watched his team work out during minicamp in June.

Ten questions: Zimmer on what's different as Vikings camp opens

The offense is bring overhauled, the defense will continue working on new schemes. Coach Mike Zimmer sat down for a Q&A session about what needs to be done to return the Vikings to the playoffs.
Vikings fans will be able to cheer for an e-sports team.

Call of Duty e-sports league will have Vikings entrant

WISE Ventures will field a team in the Activision Blizzard group.
Fans watched the Vikings stretch before a training camp practice last season.

Vikings set training camp schedule; new rules for access and autographs

Ahead of their second training camp at their practice facility in Eagan, the Vikings announced several changes in how the sessions will be run in July and August.
Minnesota Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak watches quarterbacks during drills at the team's NFL football training facili

Another makeover: Vikings have much to work on in revamped offense

As players departed the team's practice facility in after the conclusion of Minnesota's mandatory minicamp, it was clear the offense has work to do.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, center, watched Kyle Rudolph look a ball into his hands at minicamp.

Steve Jordan carved out a spot in Vikings history

During his first training camp with the Vikings in 1982 as a seventh-round tight end out of Brown, Steve Jordan found himself lined up…
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph stood with cornerback Xavier Rhodes during Tuesday's mandatory minicamp.

'I'm here': Vikings tight end Rudolph pleased to stay in purple

With no fully guaranteed money in the deal beyond this season, however, there remains the possibility the Vikings could still decide to move on from Kyle Rudolph after 2019.
Kyle Rudolph's contract extension includes a guarantee of $9 million for this season.

'Our home will always be . . . Minnesota.' Rudolph gets Vikings contract extension

The added four years are worth $36 million, according to an NFL source, and tight end Kyle Rudolph will make $9 million in 2019, which is fully guaranteed.
Wide receiver Bisi Johnson (81) during the Vikings rookie minicamp on May 3.

Vikings see promise in young receivers, including rookie

The team is seeking to build depth behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. One of the possibilities is Colorado State draft choice Bisi Johnson.
Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' career leading rusher, spoke to reporters in McLean, Va., at Redskins minicamp Tuesday. He was back in Minnesota conduct

Adrian Peterson makes it clear: 'I'll definitely be retiring a Viking'

As Peterson tossed footballs to campers Sunday in Hopkins, he seemed at peace with his relationship to the state where he achieved his greatest NFL moments to date.
The Big Ten will name Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren the conference's next commissioner to replace Jim Delany, an NFL source confirmed M

Big Ten to name Vikings' chief operating officer Kevin Warren commissioner

Kevin Warren played a key role in the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium and the Vikings' training complex in Eagan. The official announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. today.
Kyle Rudolph participated in a Vikings OTA on Wednesday.

Rudolph still hopes deal with Vikings can be reached

The Vikings, as part of a new deal, could easily lower Kyle Rudolph's 2019 salary cap number by taking a similar approach to the one they used with Eric Kendricks last week.
Roc Thomas signed autographs after a preseason game in Denver on Aug. 11, 2018.

Vikings' Thomas pleads guilty to marijuana charge, gets probation

It remains to be seen if running back Roc Thomas will face additional discipline from the NFL as the result of his guilty plea.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman

Vikings next puzzle: Clear salary cap space to sign rookies

A move affecting veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph's status might be among the more obvious possibilities for the Vikings, but it's certainly not the only one.
Eli Apple (25) was called for pass interference while defending Laquon Treadwell during a game last October.

Disappointing Treadwell to become free agent after 2019 season

Laquon Treadwell set career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season, but he was phased out of the offense under coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. was tackled by Clemson's K'Von Wallace during the national championship game in January. The Vikings used a second-rou

Five questions facing the Vikings following the NFL draft

The Vikings will likely ask several members of the class to play big roles quickly, especially on the offensive line.
Vikings first-round pick Garrett Bradbury held his jersey with, from left, owner Zigi Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman, head coach Mike Zimmer, and

Vikings' draft decisions dominated by offensive focus

For the first time since 1965, the Vikings used their first four picks on offensive players. "That's where we needed the help," GM Rick Spielman said. They didn't select a defender until the fifth round
Garrett Bradbury

New Vikings center Bradbury 'can be a little ornery'

Time will tell how long a partnership the Vikings will have with their newest offensive lineman. But in the initial stages of the relationship, Bradbury appeared to be right at home.
A Vikings fan stood near the main stage ahead of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft Friday in Nashville, Tenn.

Four trades mean Vikings will start today with nine more picks

Vikings GM Rick Spielman was eager to accumulate picks Friday, even if coach Mike Zimmer was not.
North Carolina State's Garrett Bradbury (65)

Vikings fill big need by drafting center Bradbury

Six-foot-3, 305-pound offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury of North Carolina State was an All-America last season and won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's outstanding center.