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' Jennings wants Matt Cassel back next year

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 18, 2013 - 12:40 PM

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel can opt out and become a free agent in the offseason, but wide receiver Greg Jennings would like to see him return next year.

“I would love to see Matt back,” Jennings said. “He’s a great guy. He’s a great leader. He has a great feel for the locker room. I think guys rally behind him.”

Jennings has some of the most productive performances with the Vikings with Cassel under center, including a career-high 11 receptions in Sunday’s win over the Eagles. He had 163 yards and a touchdown for 57 yards from Cassel.

“We talk a lot – whether he’s playing or not,” Jennings said. “I talk to him more than any other quarterback in the building. That’s just the kind of relationship we had coming in. Experienced guys, so he understands defenses, knows what they’re trying to do and trying to take away. I think that helps, but as far as having more success with Matt, it’s just about taking advantage of the opportunities that you’re given.”

In injury news, head coach Leslie Frazier said tight end John Carlson passed the NFL concussion protocol. He will participate in Wednesday’s practice, along with running backs Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring), but cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle) will be held out.

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