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.


Zimmer expects Adrian Peterson back for April mini camp

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: February 21, 2014 - 3:31 PM

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer expects running back Adrian Peterson to be ready for the team’s mini camp in April.

Peterson had successful groin surgery last month and was expected to make a full recovery in six weeks. There’s no date yet on the team’s mini camp, but it’s expected to be in late April.

"This guy isn’t an average 28- or 29-year-old back," Zimmer said. This guy is special and some of the things, when we were fixin’ to play him, some of the things that I thought, I watched him and I was like, ‘Wow, if we’re not really good in the way we line up and contain and be in the right positions, we’re going to have a hard, hard day.’ He could have been 20 months old for all I care.”

Other quick notes from Zimmer’s podium session:

*Zimmer hasn’t had a chance to evaluate any of the college players at the NFL Combine. He has been busy creating the defensive scheme at the moment with the coaches and evaluating players on the roster and free agency.

*When asked if he would be comfortable with quarterback Christian Ponder as his starter, Zimmer said, “Yeah, if he was the best player.”

“[Ponder’s] got a great arm, he runs good, he's a very bright guy. I think everybody wants him to live up to his expectations, not only that we all have of him, but he has of himself. It's hard for me to judge him when I haven't been out on the field with him, asked him to do things, seen how he does different things. The patience part, I'm not a patient person with anybody. I just think, once we get on the field, we'll figure all those things out."

*Zimmer said the biggest transition from defensive coordinator to head coach has been creating schedules.

“It’s just a pain the in rear end that you’re trying to do schedules for training camp, when to do redzone, when to do two-minute and all the other different scenarios and situations and come about,” Zimmer said. “Maybe it’s just because it’s on my mind at this point in time but that is a part that has been difficult for me.”

*Zimmer spoke highly of his son, linebackers coach Adam Zimmer, and said the father-to-son relationship to an extent doesn’t change even as coaches.

“My son Adam is brilliant,” Zimmer said. “I've always told everybody, 'He's smarter than me, a better person than me.' That's kind of what dads want anyway, right? But the players tell me how good he is. The coaches that are there in Minnesota say, 'Wow, Adam knows this stuff like crazy. He says it just like you,' and all these different things. That, to me, is what makes me feel good about him."

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Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 1
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 7 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 2
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 8 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 2
Baltimore - LP: E. Meek 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: S. Delabar 9
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Leesman 6 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 8
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Miami - WP: J. Fernandez 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0
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Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 7
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: J. Lester 3
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Hammel 9
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Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 3 FINAL
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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