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.


Heads-up play by Farwell

Posted by: under Vikings, Heath Farwell, Vikings special teams Updated: October 14, 2009 - 2:41 PM

Heath Farwell is the Vikings special teams star and always seems to be around the ball on the coverage units.

On Sunday, Farwell made a smart play when he tackled his own punt returner, Jaymar Johnson, in the third quarter against the Rams.
 
Here’s how it unfolded: Johnson let the punt bounce but he stayed reasonably close as a group of Rams converged on the ball to down it. But before the ball was touched, one Rams player grabbed Johnson’s left arm and tried to push him into the ball. A second later, a different Rams player pushed Johnson from behind, hoping he would touch the ball.
 
Farwell saw what was happening, ran in from the side and tackled Johnson so that he wouldn’t be near the ball.
 
“It was kind of a meathead play,” Farwell said, laughing. “I apologized to him. I was scared they were going to throw him into the ball. I was trying to get him away from the ball. Just helping my teammate I guess. … Of course I was running full speed so I didn’t mean to hit him that hard. I was just trying to rush over there and help him. But on the sidelines I apologized to him.”
 
Said Johnson, who sits next to Farwell in the locker room: “At first I didn’t know it was him. Once I saw that white jersey, I’m like, “What are you doing hitting me?’ Of course Heath is a smart player so I knew what the purpose behind it was.”
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