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.


Vikings' Xavier Rhodes (ankle) will try to practice

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 19, 2013 - 1:47 PM

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes said he’ll try to participate in Thursday’s practice after missing Sunday’s win over the Eagles with an ankle injury.

Rhodes did not participate on Wednesday, but he did some light conditioning during the open portion of practice. He ran with a noticeable limp however at a slow pace.

“It was just a little test, that’s all,” Rhodes said. “Today is going to be a real run to see what I could do.”

He rolled his ankle two weeks ago against the Ravens. Rhodes said it occurred in the fourth when he jumped up to defend a pass.

“When it was rolled up, I still tried to jump,” Rhodes said. “I tried to jump on my ankle, literally.”

It was the first game Rhodes missed during his rookie season. He had an impressive three-game stretch before the injury recording eight of his 10 pass deflections this season along with 13 tackles.

“I was hurt; I wanted to go out there and play and battle with my team,” Rhodes said. “But I couldn’t. I was on the sideline watching, but I still cheered them on after the victory.

“I want to play the last two games not only because the coaches want me to play but I just love the game of football. I just don’t like sitting out. So it’s important to me, first, to come back out here and it’s also important to the team. But other players are stepping up to the plate and playing well too. It’d be great if I could back and help though.”

UPDATE: Rhodes was not at practice during the open portion.

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