Last week, coach Leslie Frazier indicated the time could be coming when his starting quarterback decision isn't based on who gives the team the best chance to win (in his opinion) and rather would be made with an evaluator's eye toward the future.
Once again, that could leave Matt Cassel drawing the short straw and the reemergence of Josh Freeman as the starter. The factors in that decision are many: Has Freeman shown anything in practice? How is Christian Ponder recovering from his concussion suffered on Dec. 1? Is it fair to sit Cassell after another strong performance?
"I thought he did some good things," Frazier said. "He battled, kept giving us a chance throughout the ballgame under some tough conditions against a good defensive team and I thought he did a lot of good things."
Cassel's 265 yards passing Sunday was the best of the season for a Vikings quarterback, and his 84.9 passer rating on the season is the best on the team. He is also the only quarterback to have a game with more than 240 yards passing and he has four of them. It was also the first time all year the Vikings didn't take a sack.
Cassel has played the good soldier during frustrating times, and he once again didn't cause any waves after Sunday's game.
"I would like to start and, then again, as you well know, it's not my decision," he said. "I just continue to try to get ready to go each and every week. If they tell me I get another opportunity to start this week, I'll be excited and go out there and compete."
The quarterback spot isn't the only place where some interesting decisions will be made.
Safety Harrison Smith is on track to be removed from injured reserve/designated for return and play next Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles after suffering a severe case of turf toe on Oct. 13. If he is healthy enough for full-time duty, the Vikings will have to decide if Jamarca Sanford retains his starting spot or Andrew Sendejo, who has played well in Smith's absence, has done enough to continue starting.
At tight end, Kyle Rudolph hasn't started practicing after fracturing a foot on Nov. 3 at Dallas, but he is getting close. The Vikings had expected him to give it a try last week, but he hadn't made enough progress at that point.
They may be hoping for him to improve quickly because John Carlson suffered a concussion Sunday and may not be ready by the Philadelphia game. Given that he has three concussions in three calendar years, the Vikings and Carlson could very well take a cautious approach with the latest one.
The Vikings will also have to make a decision this week with receiver Greg Childs, who has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He could be placed on season-ending injured reserve or elevated to the active roster.
Adrian Peterson said Thursday he isn't looking forward to playing cold-weather games at TCF Bank Stadium while construction is taking place on the Vikings' new stadium in 2014 and 2015. His opinion isn't likely to change after playing in his first snow game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and suffering a mid-foot sprain.
Cassel said Sunday's game with heavy snow and sometimes sleet falling for most of the game was some of the worst weather he has endured in a game.
"I believe so. … This was as bad as it gets in terms of footing and constant snow throughout the day," Cassel said.
"The snow finally started to slow down (in the fourth quarter) and you could start to feel your fingers a little bit more and the guys did a tremendous job throughout the day with keeping their feet and also running good routes and keeping their concentration. Both teams struggled with the conditions, the footing, and I think the elements within themselves was a difficult day."
Frazier said "the conditions definitely made a difference."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.