1. Vikings still being cautious with Rudolph
Tight end Kyle Rudolph has started the Vikings’ past two games after the team initially planned to rule him out because of an ankle injury on Dec. 17, but the team is still limiting his workload. Rudolph played only 35 snaps Saturday night, ceding time to David Morgan (who played 43) and Kyle Carter (who played eight). On the Vikings’ lone touchdown, after Jeremiah Sirles had moved to left guard, the team made rookie guard Danny Isidora an eligible receiver, using him as a second tight end with Morgan instead of Rudolph on the play.
2. Botched call before McDermott’s injury
If the dislocated left shoulder long snapper Kevin McDermott suffered against the Packers becomes a lingering issue, we can look back to a mistake by referee Carl Cheffers’ crew that created the circumstances for the injury. After Adam Thielen’s 3-yard catch at the end of the first half, officials mistakenly moved the chains on the Vikings’ side of the field, making them think they’d converted a first down. Case Keenum overthrew a pass for Laquon Treadwell on third down — which the Vikings thought was first down — and McDermott was injured on the ensuing punt after Cheffers announced the Vikings hadn’t picked up a first down. Had the Vikings known it was third-and-1 and not first-and-10, they might have called a different play to pick up a first down before running out the clock at the end of the half. If McDermott’s injury turns out to be a costly problem for the Vikings, it’s worth remembering the play that caused it probably shouldn’t have happened.
3. Lambeau turf makes for slippery night
The Packers plan to replace the grass surface at Lambeau Field after this season, and the current field made an inglorious exit in what turned out to be its final game. Players slipped on the field throughout the night, throwing off timing between quarterbacks and receivers on several back-shoulder routes. “Everyone was slipping,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “It was tough, but at the end of the day, they didn’t stop the game. We just had to keep our feet under us.”