• Jerry Reichow will be the Vikings’ honorary captain for their game with the Lions on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Reichow played for the Vikings from 1961-64 and has been with the franchise for over five decades in various scouting and player personnel roles. There are few people who have shaped the franchise more than Reichow.
• Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards on the team being ranked 16th in total defense after ranking in the top five the past three years: “We’re not worried about stats. What we’re concerned about is helping our team win.”
• Pro Football Focus’ NFL mock draft sees the Vikings picking cornerback Jaylon Johnson of Utah: “With Trae Waynes a free agent and Xavier Rhodes struggling, the Vikings could very well address cornerback in the first once again,” PFF wrote.
• The fact that Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman are believed to be the first teammates to be named All-Big Ten first team at receiver is unbelievable. The fact that Bateman can’t turn pro until 2021 is a huge bonus for next season.
• A big plus about the Gophers’ 2020 schedule is that their first four games are at home — nonconference contests with Florida Atlantic and Tennessee Tech, then Iowa on Sept. 19 followed by another nonconference game with BYU. They will also face Michigan, Purdue and Northwestern at home while traveling to Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Nebraska.
• The latest projections have the Gophers playing in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. It could be a tough opponent, most likely from the SEC, such as Alabama, Auburn or Tennessee.
• The Gophers have played on New Year’s Day only twice — the 1961 Rose Bowl and the 2014 Citrus Bowl, under Jerry Kill.