CANTON, Ohio – It sure wasn’t the NFL debut that rookie first-round draft pick Trae Waynes probably dreamed of growing up in Wisconsin.
Waynes took one snap with the first-team nickel defense – with veteran Terence Newman moving over the slot -- and did well. But it was downhill for a bit after that. He was flagged three times in the second and third quarters. One of them, a defensive holding call, was declined after Waynes’ man caught a 35-yard pass that set up a field goal in the Vikings’ 14-3 win over the Steelers in Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game.
Waynes was called for another holding penalty and a 38-yard pass interference as the Steelers began picking on him.
“Part of the thing was I didn’t want to take him out,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I wanted to find out what kind of toughness he had when things happen like that and how are you going to fight back and how are you going to respond. I thought he did a nice job with those things. He’s just got to learn some of the technical things about the NFL. Athletically and the type of kid he is, he’s going to be fine.”
Peterson sits, but dreams
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn’t play in Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game. But he did take a peek inside what probably will be the future eternal resting place for his NFL career the night before.
Before he and his teammates toured the 52-year-old shrine next door, Peterson said the moment would cause him to contemplate his legacy and how he’ll be remembered when his career is over.
“Yeah, a little bit,” he said. “It’s kind of funny because my first year when I ran for [the record 296 yards against the Chargers], that jersey was put in the Hall of Fame. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m already in the Hall of Fame.’
“It will feel good just to kind of sit back and think about the things I’ve accomplished. If God’s willing, I’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame once I’m done playing this game.”
Audible by Tingelhoffs
According to his wife, Phyllis, Vikings Hall of Famer Mick Tingelhoff was going to say “two sentences thanking everybody” during his induction ceremony on Saturday night. But Fran Tarkenton, Tingelhoff’s presenter and fellow Vikings Hall of Famer, helped call an audible that the whole Tingelhoff family, including Mick, was happy with.
“We were talking about it before the ceremony and Fran finally said, ‘Why put the pressure on Mick? I’ll do it,’” Phyllis said. “This way, Mick didn’t have to think of anything to say and the two of them got to have an emotional and very special moment together. Fran was going to go up there with him either way.”
Tarkenton spoke for a little over a moment, choking up and fighting back tears when he said Tingelhoff had been waiting for this moment for 37 years.
Tingelhoff, who has health issues that include memory loss, didn’t participate in Sunday’s enshrinee roundtable discussion, but did attend Sunday night’s game.
Diggs’ big debut
The play of the game was rookie returner Stefon Diggs’ 62-yard punt return to the Steelers’ 1-yard line late in the third quarter.
Zimmer was asked about how “electrifying” the youngster is.
“Well, I don’t know about electrifying,” Zimmer said. “But I know the game is not too big for him. I like a lot of things about him. He wants to work.”
* Players who did not travel to the game were Gavin Lutman, Josh Robinson, Anthony Barr, Joe Berger, David Yankey, B.J. Dubose and Scott Crichton.