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.


Titans lead Vikings 17-14 at halftime

Posted by: Chris Miller under Football on TV, Vikings defense, Vikings injury report Updated: August 29, 2013 - 8:23 PM

Rusty Smith hit Jack Doyle with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left in the first half to give Tennessee a 17-14 lead over the Vikings at the Metrodome in the teams' final preseason game tonight.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson connected with Joe Banyard for an 11-yard scoring pass two minutes before Doyle's TD to give the Vikings a short-lived 14-10 lead.

The Banyard TD came shortly after Vikings guard Seth Olsen was taken off the field on a stretcher.  Olsen appeared to hit his head on the knee of a Titans player while blocking, snapping his head back a bit.  Olsen was strapped to a board before being wheeled off on the stretcher, but did give a thumbs up to the crowd.

The Titans scored in the first half on a 28-yard field goal by Rob Bironas and a 17-yard pass from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to rookie Justin Hunter. The Vikings' first touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Matt Asiata, who had eight carries for 32 yards in the opening drive.

The Vikings' offensive and defensive starters did not play.  They wore their uniforms, but did not bring their helmets or shoulder pads.

The team must cut its roster from 75 to 53 by Saturday at 5 p.m. The regular season opens at Detroit on Sept. 8.

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