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.


Ex-Giant Trattou gives Vikings inside scoop

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings defense, Vikings off the field Updated: October 21, 2013 - 12:05 PM

Former Giants defensive end and New Jersey native Justin Trattou returns to MetLife Stadium tonight to do something he never expected to be doing two weeks ago: Helping extend the Giants’ winless start to the 2013 season.

“Definitely a strange turn of events,” said Trattou, who signed with the Vikings on Oct. 9.

Trattou joined the Giants as a undrafted rookie out of Florida in 2011. He played six games with one tackle in 2011, spent 2012 on injured reserve and played five games with three more tackles before being released two weeks ago.

Trattou was on the Vikings roster for last week’s loss to Carolina, but was inactive. His game-day contribution against the Giants wasn’t expected to match what he was able to do while helping the Vikings’ defensive coaches prepare the game plan.

“Yeah, I won’t answer that one,” Trattou said with a smile when asked how he was able to help the coaches prepare for the Giants.

Asked what was wrong with Giants two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who has 17 of the team’s NFL-high 23 turnovers, Trattou said, “I have no idea what goes on over on the offensive side of the ball, but obviously turnovers has been a major problem for them. But Eli is a good player. We’ve all seen that. But you can’t fight through turnovers, at least not the number of turnovers they’ve had this year.”

Perhaps Trattou will bring the Vikings some good luck. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder won a New Jersey state title with Don Bosco Preparatory High School, a BCS national championship alongside Percy Harvin and the rest of the Gators in 2009 and a Super Bowl title as a rookie with the Giants in 2011.

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