Vikings finding time for relaxation

The new CBA requires that players get at least an extended weekend away during their bye week, but most of the players are getting a full week away. Some have to do rehab before leaving for the weekend, but the method of relaxation differed for many.

Injured Vikings players received more bad news in their lockers Monday. As other players were excited to exit Winter Park Monday afternoon for a week away from football for the first time in three months, the walking wounded found a sheet of paper in their lockers that kept them at Winter Park for another couple of days for mandatory treatment.

The new collective bargaining agreement requires that players have four consecutive days off during their bye, and even injured players like Percy Harvin (ribs), Antoine Winfield (neck) and Anthony Herrera (knee) – will get that. Winfield and his wife planned to take advantage of his time off.

"I'll be up here for treatment for the next couple of days and I'll take the wife to New York and do a little shopping over the weekend," the cornerback said, adding that the bye week also helps his return to action after a neck injury suffered against Kansas City on Oct. 2.

"I've missed the last four games so I've had four weeks. I'll have another week and then all of next week leading up to the Monday night game against Green Bay," Winfield said.

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder had no plans for the Big Apple. His time away is being spent on the prairies of South Dakota for a hunting and fishing trip with South Dakota native Chad Greenway, along with center John Sullivan and long snapper Cullen Loeffler. After that, Ponder may return to Dallas for a day or two before getting back in football mode next in preparation for his first visit to Lambeau Field.

Linebacker Erin Henderson is in the process of moving into a bigger house, so the early part of this week will be spent working on that before likely heading back to his native Maryland for a few days. It helps that the Vikings' early-season struggles feel a little further in the past after a road win against Carolina allows them a little better feeling on their mini-vacation.

"The season kind of drags on a little bit once you get that early bye, so I think it came at the right spot for us. Big win for the team. Going out there and played our guts out," Henderson said. "I think it showed on film, you could see it on tape. I think you can go into the bye week with a little bit better taste in our mouths and come back ready to work and get ready for Green Bay on Monday Night Football."

Henderson did have one big event planned: taking in a Jay-Z and Kanye concert. That's far different than fellow linebacker Greenway, who will be showing a couple of Texans (Ponder and Loeffler) and a Connecticut native (Sullivan) the outdoors way in South Dakota.

"The week off's going to awesome. It's going to help in many ways. Just the time to relax and get away; it's a long season," Greenway said. "We've got to throw the training camp into it and all that, so we have the best bye week ever at Week 9, so we're right in the middle. Come back and finish the second half and finish strong. So we'll be doing a little pheasant hunting. A lot of time with the kids, so I'll be enjoying that."

Meanwhile, other players were heading out for other climates. Receiver Devin Aromashodu was heading for Miami for some relaxation, but he, too, was thankful for a win to help take the edge off.

"It's always good to get a win going into the bye," he said. "We got that and we did it on the road and we played a full 60 minutes to do it. That's not something we've done all year, played a full 60-minute game. We played. We were up and then we were down and we showed that we could fight back."

The reality, however, is that the Vikings are 2-6, something that gnaws at many of them, including tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who, like Henderson, was planning on an extended weekend in Maryland.

"It's that time to just relax and breathe. We're 2-6, so you just about imagine how that feels to be 2-6," Shiancoe said.

Henderson may not completely get away from the game. The first-year starter said he is "addicted" to game film and may end up reviewing each of the team's games this year in hopes it will help him for the second half of the season.

"Me personally, I'll be doing a self-inventory. I'll probably go back and watch all the games from earlier in the year, just to see how I look out there, to see what other teams are seeing or what they're picking up on or what they might be trying to use against me. See what I can get better on. See what I can continue to work on," Henderson said. "And then in the process I'll get a chance to look at some Green Bay stuff as well, because we played them already. That will be what I do. Other than that, I won't be doing too much football-related."

That even applies to some of the coaches, who will be at Winter Park until Thursday morning before taking an extended weekend away. But, no matter how the coaches or players spend their time away, they are just thankful to have a break that happens to fall right in the middle of the regular season.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Injured Vikings players received more bad news in their lockers Monday. As other players were excited to exit Winter Park Monday afternoon for a week away from football for the first time in three months, the walking wounded found a sheet of paper in their lockers that kept them at Winter Park for another couple of days for mandatory treatment. The new collective bargaining agreement requires that players have four consecutive days off during their bye, and even injured players like Percy Harvin (ribs), Antoine Winfield (neck) and Anthony Herrera (knee) – will get that. Winfield and his wife planned to take advantage of his time off. \"I'll be up here for treatment for the next couple of days and I'll take the wife to New York and do a little shopping over the weekend,\" the cornerback said, adding that the bye week also helps his return to action after a neck injury suffered against Kansas City on Oct. 2. \"I've missed the last four games so I've had four weeks. I'll have another week and then all of next week leading up to the Monday night game against Green Bay,\" Winfield said. Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder had no plans for the Big Apple. His time away is being spent on the prairies of South Dakota for a hunting and fishing trip with South Dakota native Chad Greenway, along with center John Sullivan and long snapper Cullen Loeffler. After that, Ponder may return to Dallas for a day or two before getting back in football mode next in preparation for his first visit to Lambeau Field. Linebacker Erin Henderson is in the process of moving into a bigger house, so the early part of this week will be spent working on that before likely heading back to his native Maryland for a few days. It helps that the Vikings' early-season struggles feel a little further in the past after a road win against Carolina allows them a little better feeling on their mini-vacation. \"The season kind of drags on a little bit once you get that early bye, so I think it came at the right spot for us. Big win for the team. Going out there and played our guts out,\" Henderson said. \"I think it showed on film, you could see it on tape. I think you can go into the bye week with a little bit better taste in our mouths and come back ready to work and get ready for Green Bay on Monday Night Football.\" Henderson did have one big event planned: taking in a Jay-Z and Kanye concert. That's far different than fellow linebacker Greenway, who will be showing a couple of Texans (Ponder and Loeffler) and a Connecticut native (Sullivan) the outdoors way in South Dakota. \"The week off's going to awesome. It's going to help in many ways. Just the time to relax and get away; it's a long season,\" Greenway said. \"We've got to throw the training camp into it and all that, so we have the best bye week ever at Week 9, so we're right in the middle. Come back and finish the second half and finish strong. So we'll be doing a little pheasant hunting. A lot of time with the kids, so I'll be enjoying that.\" Meanwhile, other players were heading out for other climates. Receiver Devin Aromashodu was heading for Miami for some relaxation, but he, too, was thankful for a win to help take the edge off. \"It's always good to get a win going into the bye,\" he said. \"We got that and we did it on the road and we played a full 60 minutes to do it. That's not something we've done all year, played a full 60-minute game. We played. We were up and then we were down and we showed that we could fight back.\" The reality, however, is that the Vikings are 2-6, something that gnaws at many of them, including tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who, like Henderson, was planning on an extended weekend in Maryland. \"It's that time to just relax and breathe. We're 2-6, so you just about imagine how that feels to be 2-6,\" Shiancoe said. Henderson may not completely get away from the game. The first-year starter said he is \"addicted\" to game film and may end up reviewing each of the team's games this year in hopes it will help him for the second half of the season. \"Me personally, I'll be doing a self-inventory. I'll probably go back and watch all the games from earlier in the year, just to see how I look out there, to see what other teams are seeing or what they're picking up on or what they might be trying to use against me. See what I can get better on. See what I can continue to work on,\" Henderson said. \"And then in the process I'll get a chance to look at some Green Bay stuff as well, because we played them already. That will be what I do. Other than that, I won't be doing too much football-related.\" That even applies to some of the coaches, who will be at Winter Park until Thursday morning before taking an extended weekend away. But, no matter how the coaches or players spend their time away, they are just thankful to have a break that happens to fall right in the middle of the regular season. 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