• With the news that Jimmy Butler has a meniscal injury instead of a ligament tear, the Timberwolves at least avoided the huge loss of having the All-Star out for 12 months. With this injury, it figures that even if Butler is unable to return this season, he figures to be ready for the start of 2018-19.


• The Wolves began Saturday with a three-game cushion over the ninth-place Los Angeles Clippers. That cushion is going to be huge with Butler out for the foreseeable future, if the team is to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.


• Talking to P.J. Fleck, there certainly is a big difference in the Gophers football squad that will play in 2018 vs. the 2017 squad, because he took over the job on Jan. 6, 2017, and didn’t have a full offseason of recruiting and preparation.


• The Vikings are moving their entire operations from Eden Prairie to Eagan on March 5 and hope to be in complete operation at their new location shortly after that.


Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the NFL quarterback market might hinge on the Vikings’ decision of who to sign, because a lot of QBs will want to play with a team that figures to be a Super Bowl contender again. Meanwhile, NFL Network analyst Mike Garafolo said Washington’s Kirk Cousins might sign with the Vikings because of their offensive weapons and the hiring of John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator.


• looked back at the 2017 NFL draft and graded each team. They gave the Vikings a B-plus, the highest grade in the NFC North and wrote, “North of New Orleans, few teams capitalized on need with their first two picks better than the Vikings,” taking running back Dalvin Cook in the second round and center Pat Elflein in the third.


• Offensive lineman Josh Andrews, who recently signed with the Vikings, played at Oregon State with Mike Remmers from 2009 to ’11.