Improbable, unexpected have become the norm for 2016 Minnesota Vikings

The 2016 Vikings have gone through about three years worth of unexpected surprises and injuries. As we near the midpoint of the season, here is a timeline of the year that has been one of the craziest since 2010.

Not since the insane 2010 season of the Minnesota Vikings have so many things transpired in one calendar year to have had such a profound impact on a season – and there are still two months remaining before the end of the regular season.

Individually, they are memorable. Combined, they are an impressive list of comings and goings that, regardless of the outcome of the 2016 season, will be one for the books and a year that will be remembered years from now.

Here is the timeline of events that have come to define the 2016 season.

Jan. 10 – The 2015 season comes to an end when Blair Walsh misses a 27-yard field goal in the closing seconds of a 10-9 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Jan. 11 – The Vikings announce that the coaching staff will all be retained with one exception, firing offensive line coach Jeff Davidson.

Jan. 13 – The Vikings announce the hiring of former Miami head coach Tony Sparano to coach the offensive line.

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Jan. 24 – The Vikings announce the hiring of former Cleveland head coach and Philadelphia offensive coordinator/interim head coach Pat Shurmur to coach tight ends.

March 10 – The Vikings sign Alex Boone in free agency from the San Francisco 49ers with the expectation that he will start at left guard.

March 18 – The team signs former Cincinnati Bengal offensive tackle Andre Smith, who is going to compete for the starting right tackle position.

July 25 – A week prior to the start of training camp, the questions concerning the Vikings’ offensive line centered on who would stay and who would go because there was such a dearth of talent with current and former starters on the 90-man roster. That number shrinks by one when the Vikings announce the retirement of longtime right tackle Phil Loadholt.

July 29 – The Vikings announce that guard/tackle Mike Harris has been placed on the Non-Football Illness List. Harris has yet to be removed from the NFI list.

Aug. 30 – The team announces as part of its final cut-down that it has released John Sullivan.

Aug. 30 – During a practice at Winter Park, Teddy Bridgewater suffers a non-contact knee injury that ends his 2016 season and has many medical experts claiming it is an injury so severe that his 2017 season is in jeopardy.

Sept. 3 – The team announces it has traded its first-round draft pick in 2017 and a conditional pick in 2018 to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford, who played under Shurmur in the Eagles offense prior to the firing of Chip Kelly and his staff at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Sept. 18 – The Vikings defeat the Green Bay Packers to improve to 2-0, but both Adrian Peterson and Matt Kalil are injured during the game.

Sept. 21 – Minnesota announces that Kalil has been placed on injured reserve.

Sept. 23 – The team announces that Peterson will have surgery and place him on injured reserve.

Oct. 11 – After suffering an elbow injury, Smith is placed on injured reserve.

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Oct. 11 – To replace Smith on the active roster, the Viking sign free agent and former first overall draft pick Jake Long.

Oct. 31 – The Vikings lose their second straight game of the season, a 20-10 Monday night loss to the Chicago Bears.

Nov. 2 – The team announces that offensive coordinator Norv Turner has resigned.

As hard it has been to believe that so many turbulent things have happened to the 2016 Vikings, it may be just as hard to believe that the regular season won’t hit its midway point until Sunday when the Vikings meet the Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The team is hoping (if not praying) that the timeline of losses will stop soon and the second half of the season will be more about who is playing for the team than who isn’t.

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