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Matt Vensel

Reporter | Vikings
phone: 612-673-7966
Matt Vensel has been a Vikings beat reporter for The Minneapolis Star Tribune since March 2014. He joined the Star Tribune after six years covering the Baltimore Ravens for The Baltimore Sun Media Group. When he isn't covering the Vikings, you can probably find him on an ice rink or at a local coffeehouse. Matt is a native of the Pittsburgh area.
Recent content from Matt Vensel
Peterson plans to play this season -- only if Vikings have shot at playoffs

Peterson plans to play this season -- only if Vikings have shot at playoffs

Adrian Peterson, out since a Week 2 knee injury, wants to return later this month with the hope of leading the Vikings into the postseason. But he won't play 'for obvious reasons' if the team has been eliminated.
Diggs approaching statistical milestones with Vikings

Diggs approaching statistical milestones with Vikings

Stefon Diggs, with 806 receiving yards and four games left, is on pace for 1,128. And with 75 catches in 10 games, he is within striking distance of 100.
In Peterson's possible return to Vikings, is it 'Yo, Adrian,' or 'No, Adrian'?

In Peterson's possible return to Vikings, is it 'Yo, Adrian,' or 'No, Adrian'?

With the Vikings' once-promising season on the brink and another staredown over his contract looming in the offseason, does it make sense for Adrian Peterson to return to action?
Three takeaways from Thursday's Vikings-Cowboys game

Three takeaways from Thursday's Vikings-Cowboys game

The Vikings defensive front rose to the occasion against the NFL's best offensive line.
Vikings fall 2 points short against Dallas when final-minute rally fails

Vikings fall 2 points short against Dallas when final-minute rally fails

The Vikings missed their head coach, and much in the way of offensive production until a touchdown on the final drive. But the conversion try to tie the game fell incomplete.
Zimmer's season outlook uncertain as he deals with dangerous eye injury

Zimmer's season outlook uncertain as he deals with dangerous eye injury

General manager Rick Spielman would not say whether there is potential for head coach Mike Zimmer to miss multiple games. The team will reassess the situation Friday.
Vikings take the field vs. Dallas without Mike Zimmer as coach

Vikings take the field vs. Dallas without Mike Zimmer as coach

Even with a crucial game against Dallas, "the most important thing is the concern for Coach Zimmer and his health," General Manager Rick Spielman said. Special teams coach Mike Priefer is filling in.
Vikings' Zimmer has emergency eye surgery

Vikings' Zimmer has emergency eye surgery

The head coach's status for Thursday's game at home vs. Dallas is uncertain. In a statement, GM Rick Spielman said the team has a contingency plan in place.
Cowboys' Prescott, Elliott pack a punch Vikings must face head-on

Cowboys' Prescott, Elliott pack a punch Vikings must face head-on

Dallas rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have reinvigorated a franchise back to the status as the NFC's best team. The Cowboys can make it 11 wins in a row with a win over the Vikings.
Treadwell's time has come as Zimmer cites improvement

Treadwell's time has come as Zimmer cites improvement

Laquon Treadwell made his first career start, in place of the injured Stefon Diggs, in Thursday's loss to the Detroit Lions and played a career-high 34 snaps on offense.
Several key Vikings players miss Sunday practice

Several key Vikings players miss Sunday practice

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, safety Harrison Smith, cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn and Marcus Sherels, middle linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd stretched with the team inside the practice facility, then ducked out toward the locker room when drills began. Center Joe Berger, who has a concussion, was not spotted at all.
Determined or delusional? Vikings still eyeing playoff berth

Determined or delusional? Vikings still eyeing playoff berth

Vikings are down, but not out — no, seriously — after their latest wrenching loss to Lions
Trapped by Lions: Vikings lose on game-ending field goal

Trapped by Lions: Vikings lose on game-ending field goal

It was the latest comeback win for the Lions, who rallied from three points down with five minutes left to stun the Vikings again and knock the Vikings back into second place in the NFC North.
Adopt and adapt: Joe Berger's family grew along with his Vikings success

Adopt and adapt: Joe Berger's family grew along with his Vikings success

Adoption became a reality for Vikings center Joe Berger and his wife when they least expected it.
Hillman spun out of Vikings' running back rotation

Hillman spun out of Vikings' running back rotation

Ronnie Hillman, who signed with the Vikings in September, played six offensive snaps against the Cardinals and rushed for 9 yards on two carries.
For Forbath, a friend's misfortune opens Vikings opportunity

For Forbath, a friend's misfortune opens Vikings opportunity

Kai Forbath feels for Blair Walsh. But he realizes this is another opportunity to find a home in the NFL. And having experienced what Walsh is going through, he isn't going to take it for granted.
Walsh kicks away his chance with Vikings

Walsh kicks away his chance with Vikings

The reeling Vikings gave struggling kicker Blair Walsh the boot instead of another opportunity to cost them a game with a missed kick. Kai Forbath will replace him.
Running in place: Vikings ground game still going nowhere

Running in place: Vikings ground game still going nowhere

The Vikings are on pace to have the lowest yards-per-carry average in an NFL season since before Mike Zimmer was born.
Familiar story: Another Vikings loss includes another loss on the offensive line

Familiar story: Another Vikings loss includes another loss on the offensive line

After starting 5-0, Sunday's loss in Washington knocked the Vikings to second in the NFC North at 5-4. And an already thin offensive line is in trouble once again with the loss of tackle Jake Long.
Barr's stats are disappearing, but he isn't for Vikings

Barr's stats are disappearing, but he isn't for Vikings

While acknowledging that Anthony Barr "maybe hasn't made the splash plays that he made a year ago," coach Mike Zimmer said he feels Barr still is playing at a high level.
Vikings stick with Walsh -- for now

Vikings stick with Walsh -- for now

No keepers were found among several who tried out to replace kicker.
Walsh leaves Vikings no alternative but to look at other kickers

Walsh leaves Vikings no alternative but to look at other kickers

After Blair Walsh's latest poor game against Detroit, coach Mike Zimmer said it was time to work out possible replacements. Asked why, he replied: "You haven't been watching all year?"
Lions touchdown in overtime sends 'shocked' Vikings to third straight loss

Lions touchdown in overtime sends 'shocked' Vikings to third straight loss

The Lions gained 35 yards in 21 seconds to set up a game-tying 58-yard field goal as the fourth quarter expired, then won in overtime with a Golden Tate touchdown catch that featured missed Vikings tackles.
Shurmur's changes to Vikings' offense will be subtle at first

Shurmur's changes to Vikings' offense will be subtle at first

Pat Shurmur's offense won't look radically different from Norv Turner's scheme.
Split between Turner, Zimmer stuns Vikings

Split between Turner, Zimmer stuns Vikings

Calling it "the hardest decision I've ever made," Norv Turner said he resigned as offensive coordinator because he and the Vikings were not on the same page about the direction of their struggling offense.
Fright night: Last-place Bears take it to punchless Vikings

Fright night: Last-place Bears take it to punchless Vikings

A hapless offensive line and leaky Vikings defense made the Chicago Bears look like the monsters of old in a 20-10 defeat at Soldier Field.
The Call: Vikings at Bears

The Call: Vikings at Bears

The Vikings on Halloween night will look to get back to their winning ways at Soldier Field, which in recent years has been a house of horrors for them.
Vikings' twist on read option is perfect fit for Sam Bradford

Vikings' twist on read option is perfect fit for Sam Bradford

Vikings have their QB calling a lot of plays with handoff or pass options.
Vikings could do without Jay Cutler returning as Bears QB

Vikings could do without Jay Cutler returning as Bears QB

In seven career starts vs. the Vikings at Soldier Field, Jay Cutler is 6-1 with 17 touchdown passes
Waiting for ratings? Vikings disagree that NFL games have gotten ugly

Waiting for ratings? Vikings disagree that NFL games have gotten ugly

With television ratings down for NFL prime-time games, many have placed the blame on the on-field product. "I invite every one of them to come out and play this game," Brian Robison said.
Boone says offensive line simply must 'play better'

Boone says offensive line simply must 'play better'

The Eagles sacked quarterback Sam Bradford six times and were credited with 13 quarterback hits Sunday.
Ankle injury sidelines Sendejo in first quarter

Ankle injury sidelines Sendejo in first quarter

Sendejo suffered the injury after he picked off Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and returned it to the 2-yard line. He didn't realize he had gotten hurt until he got back to the sideline. He has no idea what specifically caused the injury.
The Call: Vikings at Philadelphia

The Call: Vikings at Philadelphia

The Vikings, rested up and ready to roll after their bye week, resume their season in Philadelphia against a plucky Eagles team capable of pulling off an upset at home (see their beatdown of the Steelers).
Vikings WR Diggs expected to return vs. Eagles

Vikings WR Diggs expected to return vs. Eagles

The second-year pass-catcher, though, played it coy when asked about his likely return after missing the team's last game because of a lingering groin injury.
Vikings safety Sendejo controlling his aggressiveness

Vikings safety Sendejo controlling his aggressiveness

Andrew Sendejo's more patient approach this season has kept him out of highlights of opposing players and in the good graces of coach Mike Zimmer.
With bye week over, Zimmer prods 5-0 Vikings to 'start a new season'

With bye week over, Zimmer prods 5-0 Vikings to 'start a new season'

By starting 5-0 for the first time since 2009, the Vikings have positioned themselves to challenge for a first-round playoff bye, too. But as far as coach Mike Zimmer is concerned, they are 0-0 after their bye week.

Vikings practice squad player Isame Faciane arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

According to police, Faciane was observed entering closed Hwy. 7, making an illegal U-turn across the median and then going the wrong way down a Hwy. 100 ramp.
Short on O-line, Vikings sign former No. 1 pick Long to 'do whatever they want'

Short on O-line, Vikings sign former No. 1 pick Long to 'do whatever they want'

Vikings sought out Jake Long after rash of injuries. Will he be able to stay healthy and help?
Another lineman down: Andre Smith latest loss for Vikings

Another lineman down: Andre Smith latest loss for Vikings

The Vikings, the NFL's lone undefeated team, will spend their bye week evaluating both internal and external options up front after yet losing another offensive lineman.
Vikings storm Texans, become NFL's only undefeated team

Vikings storm Texans, become NFL's only undefeated team

The Vikings defense overwhelmed another quarterback. They got another score on special teams. And their offense hit the ground running against the NFL's fifth-ranked defense.
Vikings fullback Line could get double duty at tight end

Vikings fullback Line could get double duty at tight end

Zach Line, often a bit player in coordinator Norv Turner's offense, was used on 24 of 72 offensive plays last week.
Vikings' Linval Joseph emerging as one of NFL's elite

Vikings' Linval Joseph emerging as one of NFL's elite

Two and a half years after he signed with the Vikings as a free agent, the nose tackle might be Minnesota's most indispensable defender.
The Call: Vikings vs. New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium

The Call: Vikings vs. New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium

After smothering the Packers and pounding the Panthers, the Vikings have established themselves as the early team to beat in the NFC. Back in prime…
First-rounder Treadwell still looking for first NFL catch

First-rounder Treadwell still looking for first NFL catch

Laquon Treadwell's name has yet to show up in a boxscore. The rookie still is looking for his first NFL catch. But the guy ahead of him on the depth chart is not producing either.
Vikings guard Sirles takes Boone's loud advice to heart

Vikings guard Sirles takes Boone's loud advice to heart

Jeremiah Sirles was solid Sunday when an injury pushed him into the lineup against the Carolina Panthers. He admits he was not perfect, though, and when he did make a mistake, he could feel the glare of the man he replaced, left guard Alex Boone.
Zimmer says Vikings' impressive defensive stats are a product of team play

Zimmer says Vikings' impressive defensive stats are a product of team play

The Vikings defense rank first in sacks (15), first in takeaways (nine), third in scoring defense (13.3 points per game), and sixth in total yards allowed (295.0). They are in the top 10 against both the run and pass, too.
Vikings lose another lineman in Boone

Vikings lose another lineman in Boone

Three days after left tackle Matt Kalil had hip surgery that likely ended his season — and maybe his Vikings career — left guard Alex Boone was injured in the second quarter of Sunday's victory.
Once a budding hockey star, Bradford adjusting to another career audible with Vikings

Once a budding hockey star, Bradford adjusting to another career audible with Vikings

Sam Bradford's career has taken an unanticipated route, landing in Minnesota. Once upon a time, he might have landed here as a hockey player.
Violence in North Carolina has Vikings players calling for change, unity

Violence in North Carolina has Vikings players calling for change, unity

The nation's latest police shooting and ensuing carnage had some Vikings players, at least for a few minutes, worrying about something other than stopping Cam Newton and the Panthers on Sunday.
'Game has to go on' for Vikings despite team's stunning injury news

'Game has to go on' for Vikings despite team's stunning injury news

First it was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lost for the season. Now Matt Kalil is done for the year as well while Adrian Peterson faces an unknown future with knee surgery set for Thursday.
Peterson to get second opinion on injured knee; no timetable for return

Peterson to get second opinion on injured knee; no timetable for return

Injury experts have speculated that Peterson could be sidelined anywhere from two weeks to three months by the meniscus tear, depending on whether he needs surgery. There's also a chance he could play with the injury if he can handle the pain.
Three takeaways from Sunday's Vikings-Packers game

Three takeaways from Sunday's Vikings-Packers game

Matt Vensel takes a look back at Sunday night's U.S. Bank opener.
Diggs, defense, Bradford star as Vikings open stadium with win

Diggs, defense, Bradford star as Vikings open stadium with win

Stefon Diggs had one of the best games ever by a Vikings receiver while new quarterback Sam Bradford outplayed Aaron Rodgers on a night that will be remembered for all kinds of reasons.
Confidence game: Walsh tries to put missed kicks out of his mind

Confidence game: Walsh tries to put missed kicks out of his mind

The Vikings hope Blair Walsh can leave his kicking problems behind. "Right now, I would never look for another kicker," special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said.
Zimmer says Vikings' top pick Treadwell 'still has work to do'

Zimmer says Vikings' top pick Treadwell 'still has work to do'

Charles Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen got most of the snaps at wide receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson made a few cameos, too.
Vikings seek to get Peterson and rest of run game going

Vikings seek to get Peterson and rest of run game going

Adrian Peterson hit a roadblock in Tennessee, and the Vikings look to fix that.
Zero to 25 in 30 minutes. Defense leads Vikings comeback win

Zero to 25 in 30 minutes. Defense leads Vikings comeback win

Thanks to a dominant second-half performance from the defense, including return touchdowns by Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings avoided a second consecutive season-opening loss.
2016 preview: Vikings' Plan 'B' stands for Bradford

2016 preview: Vikings' Plan 'B' stands for Bradford

Twelve days before the 2016 season started, the Vikings met adversity head-on and countered with the acquisition of former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford.
Gameday preview: Vikings open the season at Tennessee

Gameday preview: Vikings open the season at Tennessee

The Vikings rekindled their fading Super Bowl hopes last weekend with their stunning trade for Sam Bradford. Sunday, they begin the long road toward Houston…
For Vikings' Sharrif Floyd the issue is durability, not ability

For Vikings' Sharrif Floyd the issue is durability, not ability

Floyd's three years in the NFL includes injuries to his knee, ankle, back, shoulder, elbow, and then his ankle and knee again - and that's just what's been on the official report.
Vikings' Bradford scrambles on intensive learning curve

Vikings' Bradford scrambles on intensive learning curve

The new Vikings quarterback has rolled with a lot of changes over his career, but not like this.
Analysts ponder how Bradford will fit Vikings

Analysts ponder how Bradford will fit Vikings

Sam Bradford has shown the ability to throw downfield but not always the willingness.
Bradford surprised, excited to join Vikings as QB

Bradford surprised, excited to join Vikings as QB

Sam Bradford gives the Vikings a starting-caliber quarterback for this season and an insurance policy in the event that Teddy Bridgewater is not ready to return in 2017.
Vikings GM Spielman hopes to add QB by Monday

Vikings GM Spielman hopes to add QB by Monday

As Teddy Bridgewater met with the Vikings to mull surgery options, GM Rick Spielman said "all options are open right now" in searching for more help under center.
With Bridgewater out, Vikings must pick up pieces

With Bridgewater out, Vikings must pick up pieces

Minus Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings face key a decision on what to do at quarterback with the season a week away.
Vikings QB faces surgery, 'significant' recovery time

Vikings QB faces surgery, 'significant' recovery time

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a knee dislocation that led to a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and other structural damage.
Vikings trying to trade veteran Sullivan as team begins cutting players

Vikings trying to trade veteran Sullivan as team begins cutting players

A day after John Sullivan did not play in a 23-10 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers, the Vikings attempted to trade him, an NFL source confirmed. Joe Berger is the likely starter.
Vikings QB coach Turner making a name for himself

Vikings QB coach Turner making a name for himself

Like his father, Scott Turner is integral in developing QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Vikings notes: Tight end Ellison back practicing

Vikings notes: Tight end Ellison back practicing

Tight end Rhett Ellison cleared another major hurdle in his attempt to return from a major knee injury
Nickelbacks, the Vikings' Captain Munnerlyn has your backs

Nickelbacks, the Vikings' Captain Munnerlyn has your backs

The Vikings' Captain Munnerlyn wants the slot cornerback to get its due as a Pro Bowl position.
Vikings O-line takes step forward vs. Seattle, with room to improve

Vikings O-line takes step forward vs. Seattle, with room to improve

The pass protection was better vs. Seattle, but the run game has work to do.
Zimmer keeps Bridgewater on bench in Vikings' win at Seattle

Zimmer keeps Bridgewater on bench in Vikings' win at Seattle

The biggest question of the night was why coach Mike Zimmer decided not to play Teddy Bridgewater, who watched while Shaun Hill and Joel Stave ran the offense.
Andre Smith gets start over Clemmings at right tackle for Vikings

Andre Smith gets start over Clemmings at right tackle for Vikings

Smith struggled last Friday in his first game with the Vikings, leading coach Mike Zimmer to say the position battle had not yet been settled.
Can Cordarrelle Patterson save his career with the Vikings?

Can Cordarrelle Patterson save his career with the Vikings?

Cordarrelle Patterson arrived in Mankato determination to show the Vikings and a growing hoard of naysayers that a wake-up call had been answered.
Another Matt Birk? Harvard center making case with the Vikings

Another Matt Birk? Harvard center making case with the Vikings

Nick Easton knows he's got a ways to go to secure a roster spot. But the last Harvard center the Vikings used turned out pretty well.
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