Vikings look to overcome the turmoil

This has been a year of distractions for the Vikings. They were able to rally for an improbable comeback win over the Cardinals last Sunday, but they will need many more of those wins to survive the season and make the playoffs.

The Vikings might have saved their head coach's job last Sunday by rallying from a 14-point deficit with less than five minutes left in regulation to beat the Cardinals in overtime.

But for Brad Childress to continue to feel secure, the Vikings are going to need to carry that momentum into Sunday's game. Minnesota is now 3-5 and will be playing a 5-3 Bears team that also has had its issues this season.

The big issue for the Vikings will be getting a feel for where things stand between Childress and his players. Childress fell into disfavor with owner Zygi Wilf when he cut wide receiver Randy Moss without first telling ownership.

But Childress' issues go beyond that and include his relationship with many players in the locker room. Some of it is an extension of things being icy between Childress and quarterback Brett Favre.

In the aftermath of the Vikings' victory over the Cardinals, the players' standard response was that they had won the game for themselves and the team.

Not one player was heard to say he had won the game for his embattled coach.

Childress said the next day he preaches such values to his team, but nonetheless it was interesting that guys didn't rally around their coach or even pretend to do so.

Favre had set the tempo for that approach Nov. 3 during his news conference when he explained he played for himself or the team. He reiterated that Sunday.

Nonetheless, if the Vikings can turn things around in the coming weeks, it's not going to matter how they feel about their coach. Childress will survive as long as Minnesota is playing better football and making a bid for a third consecutive playoff berth.

The danger in all of this would be putting too much stock in the Vikings' victory over Arizona. The reality is Minnesota played uninspired football for three-plus quarters before deciding to turn it on.

The Vikings could easily return to that uninspired form Sunday if the Bears come out and punch them in the mouth.

However, there were elements of the offense and defense that definitely came to life in the fourth quarter, and if that carries over, the Vikings could be in decent shape.

SERIES HISTORY: 98th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 52-43-2. The Bears have a 25-21-2 record against the Vikings in Chicago. The home team has won 14 of the past 16 meetings, with the Vikings' victory at Soldier Field in 2007 and the Bears' win at the Metrodome in 2006 being the only road victories in the series since 2002.

NOTES

  • CB Asher Allen (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

  • WR Percy Harvin, who has been playing through a sprained left ankle, did not practice Wednesday after having a recurrence of migraine headaches.

  • S Jamarca Sanford did not practice Wednesday after injuring a hamstring Sunday against Arizona.

  • QB Brett Favre did not practice Wednesday for the third consecutive week, and it appears this might become the norm. Favre has a stress fracture in his left ankle and a fracture in the same heel, so giving him three days off makes sense. Favre also has had a calf injury added to the report.

  • RT Phil Loadholt (knee) was limited Wednesday but likely will start Sunday.

  • NT Pat Williams continues to battle an elbow issue that limited him in practice Wednesday.

  • DE Everson Griffen was listed with a shoulder injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday.

  • CB Lito Sheppard remains on the injury report because of a hand injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday.

  • CB Frank Walker remains on the injury report because of a hamstring injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday.


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