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.


Initial diagnosis on Carlson is MCL sprain

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier, Ryan Longwell Updated: July 31, 2012 - 7:19 PM

MANKATO -- Tight end John Carlson, the team's top offseason acquisition at $25 million over five years, went down in practice today with what coach Leslie Frazier said was initially diagnosed as a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL).

Carlson will have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test tonight. The Vikings aren't expecting a torn ligament, nor is surgery expected. But even a sprain could sideline Carlson for a couple of weeks, at least. And that's not good for an offense that's relying on Carlson and Kyle Rudolph, two pass-catching mismatches for defenses, to play in a lot of multi-tight end sets.

"He wouldn't have to have any surgery because that's something that heals by itself," Frazier said. "It's a little bit more of a pain-tolerance thing."

Here's some other highlights from Frazier's post-practice meeting with beat reporters:

  • Frazier put some pressure on rookie kicker Blair Walsh at the end of today's practice. After a full-speed, tackle-to-the-ground period between the offense and defense, Frazier decided to end the workout with a 44-yard field goal attempt. If Walsh made it, the offense would be considered the practice winner. If he missed, the defense would be crowned. Needless to say, the defensive players on the sideline gave Walsh an earful as he lined up for his attempt, which he made. "To finish the practice with Blair coming out and making that field goal with the defense razzing him and giving him a hard time, booing him and calling him names, that was a good, spirited practice," Frazier said. Loudest among the defensive players, as usual, was safety Jamarca Sanford. "A little SEC action going there, with Ole Miss [Sanford] and Georgia [Walsh]," Frazier said.
  • Frazier said he's been impressed with how Walsh has handled the pressure of replacing Ryan Longwell. Of course, the real pressure hasn't even begun yet. But, as Frazier said, "There's no looking back now. He's our kicker now."
  • Frazier wasn't too happy with starting outside linebacker Erin Henderson blitzing through the line and popping starting QB Christian Ponder. "You probably saw me talking to [Henderson]," Frazier said. "We've had these conversations before. Just run by him. They get so enthused and so energetic in those moments that sometimes they forget to keep those red jerseys [worn by the QBs] up."

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Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 9
Washington 0 FINAL
Miami 8
Boston 4 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Houston 3
Toronto - WP: C. Hynes 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: D. Hinojosa 7
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Norberto 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 0
St. Louis 5 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Kansas City 4
LA Angels 1 FINAL
Oakland 4
San Diego 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox 2
Chicago WSox 12 FINAL
Seattle 4
Cleveland 2 FINAL
San Francisco 5
Milwaukee 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona 3 FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Texas 4 FINAL
Colorado 10
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Detroit 78 FINAL
Charlotte 102
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Washington 106
San Antonio 103 FINAL
Orlando 91
Indiana 87 FINAL
Boston 100
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New York 98
Chicago 91 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Dallas 135 FINAL
Oklahoma City 131
Sacramento 111 FINAL
Houston 115
Toronto 113 FINAL
Minnesota 99
Denver 84 FINAL
Utah 98
LA Clippers 61 3rd Qtr 8:03
Portland 73
New Orleans 50 2nd Qtr 3:38
LA Lakers 44
Toronto 3 FINAL
Buffalo 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Edmonton 0 2nd Prd 5:45
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Michigan 65
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West Virginia 66
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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