Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
CHICAGO — Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who grew up in a Chicago suburb, spoke last week about what a thrill it has been to play at Soldier Field. It wasn’t much fun Sunday night. Cousins had a rugged outing and the Vikings lost 25-20 to Chicago in the battle for first place in the NFC North.
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter is on pace to join an exclusive club. Since sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982, only 10 players have reached 20 in a season, and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt is the only one to get there twice.
EAGAN, Minn. — When running back Roc Thomas was waived last week by the Vikings, he could have bolted to join another team’s practice squad. Instead, he decided to stick around. The undrafted rookie was on the active roster for the first nine games of the season before being let go when the Vikings claimed running back Abdeer Abdullah on waivers from Detroit. They then signed Thomas to the practice squad.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said Friday, Nov. 16, his tackling technique was once “quite good.” He had a good teacher. In 1998, when Cousins was 10, he lived in Chicago suburb Barrington, Ill., and was a die-hard Bears fan. He was excited to get the news one day that the assistant coach on his pee-wee team, the Barrington Bears, would be legendary Bears linebacker Mike Singletary.
EAGAN, Minn. — Veteran defensive end Everson Griffen looked a lot better in his second game back with the Vikings than he did in his first. Teammate Sheldon Richardson figures that sort of improvement will continue. Griffen missed five games because of a mental health issue before returning Oct. 28 against New Orleans and getting two tackles and one quarterback hurry in 37 plays.
EAGAN, Minn. - Kirk Cousins was 13 years old when his family moved from the Chicago suburbs to Holland, Mich. He wondered if he would need to put aside his Bears gear and become a Detroit Lions fan. Cousins’ father knew that wasn’t going to happen. “He said, ‘Kirk, you can take the boy out of Chicago, you can’t take Chicago out of the boy,’ ” Cousins said recently. “We stayed Chicago sports fans when we moved to Michigan.” Cousins stopped being a Bears fan when he the Washington Redskins made him their fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft.
MINNEAPOLIS — Move over “Purple People Eaters,” there’s a new gang of defenders in the Vikings’ record book. The Vikings had a franchise-record 10 sacks in Sunday’s 24-9 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The previous record of sacks in a game was nine, accomplished four times — three times by Minnesota’s legendary defensive line, in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
EDINA, Minn. — Former Vikings Pro Bowl fullback Bill Brown died Sunday morning, Nov. 4, after dealing with health issues the past few years. He was 80. Brown played for the Vikings from 1962-74 after spending his rookie year with Chicago in 1961. He made four Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor in 1964. Brown died at English Rose Suites, a memory center in Edina, where he spent the past five years.
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was fined $13,369 by the NFL for throwing his helmet last Sunday against New Orleans, a source said Saturday. The fine had been expected. When asked Friday if the NFL fines players for what Treadwell did, he said, “Yeah, they do.’’ When asked if had gotten word then about being fined, he said, “I plead the fifth.’’
More than a dozen years ago, Eric Kendricks learned what tackling was all about by bringing down Mookie. Kendricks was a seventh-grade defensive back for Wowana Middle School in Fresno, Calif., in 2004 when his team faced Cooper Middle School and its big running back.