Stadium just another stress in taxing season

The Vikings aren't completely sure where they will play on Monday night, leaving the team to deal with another stressful distraction in a record-setting season in that regard.

In a turmoil-filled season in which little has gone right, things just keep getting worse for the Vikings.

Not only did the roof of the Metrodome collapse last Sunday, causing the team's game against the New York Giants to be moved to Detroit, but now it's uncertain where the Vikings will wrap up a three-game "homestand" on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings want to play the game at the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, but that venue was essentially shut down for the winter after the Gophers football team ended its season in November.

That will create real problems with ice and snow removal — along with other issues — but Vikings officials remain hopeful that this will work out in part because the franchise will be holding festivities over the weekend to celebrate its 50th season in Minnesota.

Those festivities are expected to be a positive for an organization that has had its share of negatives this year.

The latest came with the collapse of the Metrodome roof and a lethargic 21-3 loss to the Giants on Monday that officially ended the Vikings' chances of going to the playoffs.

That game also brought an end to Brett Favre's NFL-record starting streak of 297 consecutive regular-season games. Favre is suffering from an injury to his throwing arm that almost certainly will sideline him again for the game against the Bears.

Tarvaris Jackson started in Favre's place against the Giants but suffered a turf toe injury that could sideline him this week. That means raw rookie Joe Webb could get the start.

But Webb has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and the team might have some reservations about starting him against the Chicago defense.

As a result, the Vikings signed veteran Patrick Ramsey for the remainder of the season. That means Ramsey could start his first game since the 2005 season, when he was with Washington, and appear in his first game since 2008, when he was with Denver.

Ramsey spent time this season with Jacksonville and Miami.

As far as Webb potentially starting, interim coach Leslie Frazier said a lack of practice reps throughout this season would be an issue. Of course, the same could be argued for Ramsey.

"It wouldn't be the ideal situation if he had to start the game on Monday night," Frazier said of Webb. "If that is the case, he would be ready for it and we would do whatever we have to do to get him prepared. You just have to know, he hasn't had a lot of snaps as a quarterback."

SERIES HISTORY: 99th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 52-44-2. The Bears also beat the Vikings 35-18 in an NFC wild-card game after the 1994 season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 — Interceptions needed by linebacker E.J. Henderson to tie Rip Hawkins for the most by a linebacker in a single season. Hawkins set the mark of five in the team's inaugural season of 1961.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Yeah, that'll be something we'll have to address when we come back on Thursday — just what we have to get done and how we have to get it done, knowing that we're not going to be playing for a playoff spot. So, the approach has to be a little bit different, and we'll address that when we get back on Thursday." — Interim coach Leslie Frazier.


  • DE Ray Edwards missed a second game in a row because of a high right ankle sprain suffered two weeks ago at Washington, but the Vikings are hoping to get him back this week.

  • WR Percy Harvin missed a second consecutive game because of issues with migraine headaches, but interim coach Leslie Frazier is hopeful he will be back Thursday when the Vikings begin preparations for next Monday's game against Chicago.

  • LG Steve Hutchinson missed a second consecutive game because of a broken right thumb, and it's not certain if or when he will return this season.

  • S Tyrell Johnson suffered an MCL injury to his knee on Dec. 5 against Buffalo, and his season could be finished.

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