• Vikings wideout Adam Thielen on getting ready for a regular-season game against the Packers next week without a single preseason game: “You better be ready. I mean, there is no other choice, right? Once that first Sunday hits, you better be.”

• Offensive line coach Rick Dennison said the Vikings’ decision to move second-round draft pick Ezra Cleveland from tackle, his position at Boise State, to guard is all about his strengths. “Looking at him in college the way he played the tackle position, which he did a fine job, he likes shorter spaces,” said Dennison. “He has great feet, great balance, but he likes smaller spaces. We thought we’d start there and work into his length.”

• Twins legend Joe Mauer is still doing a lot of great work for Gillette Children’s Hospital and is helping with fundraising for their Walk & Roll Family Fun Day on Sept. 12. The event will be virtual this year.

• Former Gophers linebacker Carter Coughlin is battling to make the New York Giants’ 53-man roster after being drafted in the seventh round. He told Newsday out of Long Island that he’s aware cuts are coming. “I’d be lying if I said that’s not something that sits in the back of your mind. But you can’t sit and focus on the what-ifs and what the future holds.’

• Jimmy Shapiro of Bovada out of Las Vegas notes that the over/under for Kirk Cousins touchdown passes this year is 25 while the number for interceptions is 10. Last year, Cousins had 26 touchdowns against six picks.

• Wolves point guard D’Angelo Russell talked on NBA veteran J.J. Redick’s podcast about how he would handle it if the Wolves drafted point guard LaMelo Ball at No. 1 overall: “I wouldn’t mind it, honestly, if that’s what it was and that’s what they see in the future. Man, I’ve been in so many situations, I’d attack it like any other.”