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NFL: Former Vikings player, coach dies

EDEN PRAIRIE—The Minnesota Vikings are sending condolences to the family of Bob Schnelker, who died Monday in Florida. He was 88.

Schnelker was a 2-time Pro Bowler going into his ninth season when he joined the Vikings for their inaugural 1961 campaign. He caught the first touchdown in team history, reeling in a 14-yard pass from eventual Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton in a 37-13 upset of the Chicago Bears.

It was the lone touchdown by Schnelker in six games for the Vikings. He had six receptions for 60 yards and finished 1961 with Pittsburgh. Schnelker totaled 211 receptions for 3,667 yards (17.4 yards per catch) and 33 touchdowns.

Years before, Schnelker helped the New York Giants defeat the Bears for the 1956 NFL Championship.

Years later, Schnelker served as Vikings offensive coordinator from 1986-90 for head coach Jerry Burns.