• New Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur on taking over the role on a short week. “I think the biggest thing is we have to keep our eye on the ball,” he said. “We’ve got to put together a plan. Initially here we have to put a plan together to go out and perform well against Detroit. We’ve been working, obviously, behind the scenes to get that done.”
• The Vikings have seven first-round picks on their defense: cornerback Terence Newman (fifth overall), Anthony Barr (ninth), Trae Waynes (11th), Chad Greenway (17th), Sharrif Floyd (23rd), Xavier Rhodes (25th) and Harrison Smith (29th). The Vikings drafted all but Newman.
• Ingmar Molde, the 103-year old father of Al Molde, will be honored Sunday by the Vikings. Al coached at several schools, including Eastern Illinois, where he coached current Saints head coach Sean Payton, and he was the athletic director at Gustavus.
• The University of Iowa is spending $89 million in a complete remodeling of Kinnick Stadium.
• Good news for the Twins has been the play of Mitch Garver in the Arizona Fall League. Garver, a catcher, leads the league with four homers. He hit .329 at in 22 games at Class AAA Rochester in 2016.
• The Hamline football team has already reached a major milestone with five wins under new head coach Chip Taylor. The Pipers are assured of going .500 or better for the first time in 19 years.
• Heading into this weekend the latest bowl projections by ESPN had the Gophers playing either Georgia Tech or Pittsburgh in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28.
• East Ridge running back Dominik London has committed to the Gophers for next season. London ended the season with 829 yards rushing on 164 carries with 12 touchdowns after missing two games this season.