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Vikings recall loss at Chicago last season

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The Sports Xchange

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has relished reminding his players this week that the Vikings haven’t won at Chicago since 2007, a streak so long that only three current players – Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway and Brian Robison – were on that team. Wednesday, second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was asked what makes Soldier Field such a hard place to play.

He smiled and reminded people about last season, when the game clock kept going out during the Bears’ 21-13 win.

“I’ve only played there one year, but I know last year, the game clock going out made it difficult last year,” Bridgewater said.

The game clock at Soldier Field went out for stretches during the game It went out for good with 2:54 left in the game. With 2:03 left, the Vikings took possession of the ball. They trailed by eight points with no timeouts and 66 yards to cover to get to the end zone.

Bridgewater didn’t have a clock to look at. The referee announced the time remaining after each play.

“That was the first time I ever experienced anything like that,” Bridgewater said. “I think we could have handled the situation a little better. When you’re not aware of how much time is left on the clock when you’re down on the playing field, it forces you to make some decisions that you probably wouldn’t have made if you were aware of the game clock or the play clock. I hope it doesn’t happen again this year.”

Bridgewater ended up throwing an interception in part because he thought it might be the final play of the game.

–Zimmer, 59, talked about the strain that coaches deal with when asked to comment on the surprising news that University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill retired Wednesday, effective immediately, because of health reasons that include epileptic seizures that he’s dealt with for years.

“It’s disappointing to have another great coach that you respect and the things he’s done to retire, but in the same token, I’m glad that he had the fortitude to be able to do it when he’s ready to do it or needed to do it,” Zimmer said. “We’re all going to miss him in the Twin Cities and I’m sure all the UM faithful will miss him as well. He’s an awful good football coach.”

Zimmer went on to share some of the difficulties of the job.

“I can’t speak for Jerry specifically,” Zimmer said, “but for me it’s … upstairs a player comes in every day and talks to you, and you’re trying to figure out the best way to help the football team win and all that, and somebody says to you, ‘Well, it’s game week, let’s have fun.’ I say, ‘Fun?’ This is always a grind. … You put every heart and soul every minute that you have into one week and trying to win a football game.

“That starts specifically in July for us, but there’s not a day goes by that you don’t think about how can we get this better, what can you do, even though when you try … there’s still football being talked about. It’s a tough, tough profession, especially with the people that they want you to win so bad. … I probably shouldn’t say any of this stuff … (but) I’ve always said everybody knows how to do a coach’s job, I can’t go in and tell them how to operate, but everyone knows how to do a coach’s job.”

Zimmer didn’t meet Kill until Zimmer was hired by the Vikings last year.

“I know his background and track record and things he did at Northern Illinois,” Zimmer said. “His personality as well, he’s a little bit like me I guess, the steps he had to take where he is right now. I’m sure it’s hard for him to make that decision because the University of Minnesota was a dream for him, and he’s got it going the right way.”

Notes: Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who missed last week’s game at Detroit, didn’t practice Wednesday and is unlikely to play this week. He had arthroscopic knee surgery to remove cartilage and also has his left foot in a walking boot because of an ankle injury. Floyd was having an outstanding season, but the Vikings have a capable starting-caliber player in nickel pass rusher Tom Johnson. … Running back Adrian Peterson has reached the portion of the season when he’s likely to be rested between games. He did little in practice last week because of a finger injury. Wednesday, he was out with finger, hip and ankle injuries. But he is expected to be fine on game day. … Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has 19 catches for 324 yards in his first three NFL games. According to STATS, Diggs and Anquan Boldin are the only two players since at least 1960 to have that many catches for that many yards in their first three games. Boldin had 23 catches for 378 yards in his first three NFL games in 2003.


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