Early Losses Will Linger

The Vikings start the post-bye portion of their schedule Sunday, but the poor start to the season won't be forgotten, says receiver Cris Carter.

Despite the opportunity to say the return from the bye week represented a new start for the Vikings, Cris Carter refused to play that card when asked about the Eagles game.

"No. It's not a new start," he said. "Everything is right there in front of you. We're still 3-4. As far as that being very obvious, but it's not a new start. It's an opportunity where you can reflect back and look forward. To me, that is all you can really do. I am rested and I'm ready to go. I feel good about the team. I feel good about what we have ahead of us. It's going to be tough, but it's going to be a great opportunity for us."

Head coach Dennis Green also sees the opportunity for his team to make a playoff drive. "Basically, even though we are not halfway into the season (entering the game in Philadelphia), we look at it as halfway into the season," he said. "I stick with years of experience that says that everybody that is 5-1 or 6-1 is not necessarily going to be a playoff team and everybody that is 3-4, and we look at ourselves in that way, that we have to start playing better.

"So before you worry about winning, you have to play better. That's been our concept. I think we've been OK at home, but we have not been the way we want to be all of the time, and that includes the road."

Friday Notes
* Carter spent the first two-plus seasons of his career with Philadelphia before being let go in 1990 and picked up by the Vikings. However, at this point, playing against the Eagles isn't a big deal to him. "I've only been back there once in 12 years," he said. "So no, not really. You're talking about 12 years ago. No significance at all."
* Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper on his bye week: "It was a chance to get caught up on some rest, get some quality rest. Kind of get away from football a little bit, even though you still think about it all of the time. But physically you don't have to go out and do it, so it was good for myself, and I'm pretty sure it was good for the whole team."
* Culpepper said the broken nose he suffered in the loss at Tampa Bay has healed. Although there was talk of Culpepper wearing a different type of facemask, he said, "I will pretty much have the same one. My nose, it's just an injury that can happen. It's just a freak thing. I'm not worried about it and nobody else on the team is worried about it."

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