Opposite Sideline: Vikings limping into Lambeau
The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers' next opponent from a beat writer who covers that team.
Much has happened for both the Packers and their opponents this week, the Minnesota Vikings, since the two teams faced off back in Week 2.
To sort through all the developments across the border, we caught up with Chris Tomasson, who covers the Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
1. Did injuries simply end up sinking this Vikings team in 2016?
"Yes, injuries were a huge determining factor in the Vikings falling off the map after a 5-0 start. The Vikings weathered the storm well with the injuries early in the season, but they eventually caught up with them. Still, injuries weren't the reason the Vikings gave away two games against Detroit in November, losses that likely will end up dooming their season."
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2. Will the Packers see a motivated Anthony Barr on Saturday given coach Mike Zimmer's comments Wednesday about the Vikings linebacker having a "tendency to coast"?
"That's what Mike Zimmer sure wants to see. The Vikings have been trying to light a fire under Anthony Barr all season, and maybe this will work. His fall has been perplexing this season since he actually has been much more healthy than he was in 2015, when he made the Pro Bowl."
3. Have the Vikings been able to get any real evaluation of Sam Bradford given the ongoing troubles with the offensive line in Minnesota?
"Yes, the Vikings know enough about Sam Bradford on whether they might want him to be their quarterback of the future. Much could depend on the health of Teddy Bridgewater. But even if the Vikings prefer Bradford over a healthy Bridgewater, they're not about to divulge that anytime soon. While there were big offensive line issues, Bradford displayed toughness and an ability to adapt to Pat Shurmur's shorter passing game and he could set a record for completion percentage in an NFL season."