• Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards on the challenge of stopping Michael Thomas, who easily led the NFL with 1,725 receiving yards and 149 catches this season. “He’s catching everything around him,” Edwards said. “You see people doubling him, you see people tripling him, and he still finds a way to get the football.”
• Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on recent fumbled snaps between center Garrett Bradbury and quarterback Kirk Cousins: “Every day we have a center-quarterback exchange period, even this late in the season. It’s something that you continue to work on. You never take for granted, and I think Garrett and Kirk just continue to bank reps together, I think [that] can only help.”
• Former Vikings players on the Saints include quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, center Nick Easton, fullback Zach Line and running back Latavius Murray.
• The Gophers started only two seniors on offense in their Outback Bowl victory over Auburn: running back Rodney Smith and wide receiver Tyler Johnson. On defense only three underclassmen started: sophomore Thomas Rush at linebacker, junior Coney Durr and sophomore Antoine Winfield Jr. at defensive back.
• Brian Dutcher, the son of former Gophers men’s basketball coach Jim Dutcher, has No. 13 San Diego State at 15-0 after a 77-68 victory at Utah State on Saturday night. The Aztecs are one of two undefeated teams remaining in Division I.
• Amir Coffey became the first Gophers product to play in the NBA since Kris Humphries in 2017 when he took the court for the Clippers on Tuesday.
• Spotrac currently has the Twins with the 16th-highest payroll in baseball for 2020 at $103 million, with estimates for arbitration-eligible players such as Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios, Taylor Rogers and Byron Buxton.