Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Injury report: Brian Robison back at practice, still fighting to play Sunday

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings injury report, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Brian Robison, Chris Kluwe, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier, Phil Loadholt Updated: December 21, 2012 - 2:37 PM

Several key injury updates for you this afternoon from Winter Park …

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison returned to practice Friday, fighting to push through the discomfort of his Grade 3 shoulder sprain. Robison lined up with the first-team defense in the early parts of practice open to the media and seemed to move around well enough that the Vikings still think he has a chance to start Sunday in Houston.

“He feels better,” head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We’ll talk a little but more about how we want to proceed with him, but he did enough in practice today to create some encouragement amongst our staff and his teammates as well.”

The Vikings will wait to see how Robison feels Saturday after practicing and then undergoing additional treatment Friday for the injury to his acromioclavicular joint.

“We’ve got to see how he feels from some of the things we took him through today,” Frazier said. “So what he has to say will make a difference. We saw some things today that makes us think he may have a chance [to play]. But he has to feel it both mentally and physically.

Kalil returns

Left tackle Matt Kalil returned to practice Friday after missing the previous two days due to illness. Kalil was sick enough to stay home from the team facility on Wednesday and Thursday. But to help him study for Sunday’s big test against Houston, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson went to Kalil’s house to help deliver some of the concepts and nuances of the game plan.

“It was kind of funny,” Kalil said. “I don’t think he’s ever been over to my house. But he wanted to make sure I was prepared and just give me the same coaching he’s had in that meeting room since I wasn’t able to be in there.”

Kalil, a California native, admitted he lost a little bit of weight due to the illness and was still fighting to feel 100 percent again.

“My Cali body isn’t used to this cold weather. So it’s something I’ve got to get used to,” he said

Kalil had praise for Houston’s defense, calling end J.J. Watt “a force to be reckoned with” and also complimenting outside linebacker Brooks Reed, a former foe of his from their days in the Pac-12.

Still, while Kalil knows the Texans defense is tough, he also pointed out that their defense isn’t overly complex.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a good week for me to be sick. But they’re pretty simplistic with what they do. … They’re good at running their line games and they’re great at rushing the passer.”

The full Vikings injury report:
  • Brian Robison (questionable, shoulder)
  • Matt Kalil (probable, illness)
  • Adrian Peterson (probable, abdomen/groin)
  • Antoine Winfield (probable, knee)
  • Jared Allen (probable, shoulder)
  • Chris Kluwe (probable, left knee/right groin)
  • Phil Loadholt (probable, knee)
  • Mistral Raymond (probable, ankle)
  • Everson Griffen (probable, elbow)
  • Marcus Sherels (probable, quadriceps/elbow)

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