Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS—If Chad Greenway decides not to retire, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer gladly would take him back. The linebacker had talked about 2016 likely being his last season. After Sunday's 38-10 win over Chicago in the finale, he said he would take a few weeks before making his decision. "I love Chad," Zimmer said. "I think he's a tremendous player, a tremendous locker room guy. I think Chad is the one that needs to make that decision. I mean, I think I'm going to talk to him (Tuesday), I believe. But I would love to have him back."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Mike Zimmer made sure there won't be a Vikings quarterback controversy anytime soon. In his season-ending news conference Tuesday, the head coach not surprisingly declared Sam Bradford his starter. Acquired from Philadelphia after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final preseason practice, Bradford set an NFL record with a completion percentage of 71.6.
MINNEAPOLIS — Sunday could mark the end of an era. For a decade, the Vikings have had running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway and defensive end Brian Robison as key contributors. It's possible none will remain with the team following the season finale against Chicago at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — Rookies stepped up big time for the Vikings last season. Stefon Diggs led the team in receiving and Eric Kendricks in tackles. Danielle Hunter was second in sacks. This year's rookie class has spent the bulk of the season on the bench. One big difference between Minnesota's NFC North title team in 2015 and this year's 7-8 squad has been the production of rookies.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings are desperate for a win. Does that mean coach Mike Zimmer might reach back into his bag of tricks? "You'll find out Saturday, I guess,'' wide receiver Adam Thielen said. Back in January, the Vikings clinched their first division title since 2009 with a 20-13 victory over the Packers in Green Bay. An early, 41-yard run on a fake punt by Thielen set the tone, loosening up a Vikings team that hadn't won at Lambeau Field since that '09 season.
MINNEAPOLIS — Could last Sunday have marked Adrian Peterson's final game with the Vikings? The running back made that question worth pondering Wednesday when he didn't practice and said he was uncertain about playing Saturday at Green Bay. He returned from a knee injury on Sunday, running six times for 22 yards in a 34-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Vikings safety Harrison Smith made his second straight Pro Bowl on Tuesday, but he was happier to see a teammate selected for his first. Minnesota had four players chosen for the NFC in the Pro Bowl, with Smith, defensive end Everson Griffen and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson all set to make a second appearance. Chosen for the first time was cornerback Xavier Rhodes, "I was more excited to see Xavier made it than myself,'' Smith said in a statement. "He deserves this recognition.''
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—The Vikings' chances of making the playoffs are minuscule, but Mike Zimmer isn't planning to change how he coaches. According to a representative at numberFire.com, the Vikings (7-7) had a 1.04 percent chance at a postseason invitation prior to Monday night's Carolina at Washington game. The good news is they are guaranteed of still being mathematically alive entering Saturday's game at Green Bay. "I haven't looked at any of that," Zimmer said Monday. "My job is to go out and beat Green Bay, however we do it."
MINNEAPOLIS — Former NFL cornerback Terrell Buckley put away his tough-love tactics and made like a fan earlier this month. Buckley, now an assistant coach at Mississippi State, went to the Pro Bowl voting page on NFL.com and clicked on the name of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. "Tell Xavier I voted for him for the Pro Bowl, and I'm going to be there when he makes it,'' Buckley said of the Jan. 29 game in Orlando, Fla.
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings center Joe Berger was ruled out for Sunday's game at Jacksonville, the second straight game he will miss because of a concussion. After practicing Tuesday and Wednesday, Berger sat out Thursday. Nick Easton will get his second NFL start with Berger out. Also ruled out Friday were safety Harrison Smith (ankle), who will miss his first game of the season, and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who will sit out his 12th straight.