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.


Frazier credits reserves, coaching staff for Vikings win

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 16, 2013 - 2:25 PM

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier couldn't stop smiling during his weekly press conference on Monday when he touched on watching the game footage from the 48-30 win over the Eagles on Sunday.

He specifically pointed out the reserves that stepped up in the absence of cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook and running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart. Matt Asiata and Shaun Prater each received their first career starts with Asiata finishing with three rushing touchdowns and Prater grabbing an interception.

Frazier credits the coaching staff for developing some the young players for that opportunity. The reserves typically stay after practice with the coaches to receive extra reps they normally wouldn’t receive in practice or in a game.

“We tell them all the time things can change in a hurry in the National Football League where you go from not dressing to all of a sudden having to be a starter in a ballgame,” Frazier said. “We’ll keep them after practices and the coaches will work with them.”

Frazier expects most of his players that were inactive to return on Sunday against the Bengals. His biggest concern however is cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle), who Frazier was cautious to say he’d return. Tight end John Carlson (concussion) was evaluated on Monday, but Frazier said he didn’t pass the NFL concussion protocol over the weekend.

Cook tweaked his knee during Friday practice, which caused him to miss Sunday’s game. Frazier said it happened when he was planting on a route. An MRI revealed that Cook had a bone bruise, but Cook didn’t structurally damage his knee.

“More of dealing with the things you have to do as a defensive back – plant and turn without thinking; you can’t be worried about the pain,” Frazier said. “The fact that he was having trouble planting and driving, getting out of his back pedal, that’s a problem as a defensive back.”

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Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 49 3rd Qtr 8:37
Houston 59
Golden State 5:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Indiana
Portland 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Orlando
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
Los Angeles 0 2nd Prd 18:36
Winnipeg 1
Tampa Bay 4:00 PM
Florida
Columbus 4:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Dallas
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Vancouver
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 46 2nd Half 7:53
Providence 60
Michigan State 25 2nd Half
Wisconsin 36
Siena 18 1st Half 7:51
Monmouth 14
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
Wake Forest
Oregon 6:00 PM
Stanford
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
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TX-San Antonio 60
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Massachusetts 78
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VA Commonwealth 49
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Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
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(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 65 2nd Half 0:05
Loyola-Chicago 63
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 69 2nd Half 3:19
(16) Duke 74
Alabama 65 2nd Half 1:00
Auburn 77
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 21 2nd Half
(10) Arizona State 22
(19) Stanford 30 2nd Half
Oregon 29
Marquette 43 2nd Half
DePaul 46
Southern Miss 35 2nd Half
Texas-El Paso 37
Vanderbilt 4:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
(2) South Carolina 4:00 PM
(13) Kentucky
Utah 4:00 PM
Arizona
Ohio State 0 1st Half 20:00
Nebraska 0
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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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