Koren Robinson was signed and released by the Vikings twice earlier this season. They were moves made to restructure his contract from two years to one year, then from guaranteeing him a full season's pay to making him work each game for his next paycheck.
Consider Robinson's dues paid for this season. Robinson made his third start on offense in Detroit and came up with the Vikings' first 100-yard effort by a wide receiver this season.
It started early, with Robinson going 80 yards for a touchdown on Minnesota's first play from scrimmage. It was almost like sandlot football – sprint to the pine tree on the right and I'll throw it there before five Mississippi.
"How about that, huh? The great thing about that was that we had a timeout," quarterback Brad Johnson said. "They had the first possession, we had a timeout and we called a play – dart all go Louisiana Bayou – and actually you should throw the ball about 40 yards down the field, it's a five-step throw. I looked down there and Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan were standing at the 40-yard line and I said, 'Look at those guys, man, look at them.' And I throw five yards past those guys, who were ready to go. We caught the right coverage and I threw it out there and he went and got it, it was a big tone-setter for us as far as the day went. It was good to come out like that."
That gave the Vikings a 7-3 lead.
Two drives later, Robinson was a big reason for the Vikings' second touchdown. Facing third-and-3, Johnson felt pressure and lofted a pass to the left sideline, where Robinson hauled in a 45-yard reception on the first play of the third quarter. Two plays later, the Vikings led 14-3 and the rest was defense and grinding it out.
Two plays, 125 yards receiving, early lead in hand … yep, that's the explosiveness the Vikings have been missing.
* RB Mewelde Moore, already playing with two sore ankles, sprained his right ankle in the first quarter on a punt return at Detroit. Moore returned to attempt a carry late in the second quarter but lost 6 yards.
* LB Napoleon Harris was inactive against Detroit after playing in the first 11 games. Harris has been a big disappointment since he was acquired from Oakland in the Randy Moss trade.
* QB Daunte Culpepper, who underwent surgery last month to repair three torn ligaments in his right knee and is out for the season, attended his first game since the injury. Culpepper, looking noticeably lighter, flew from the Twin Cities on the plane of Reggie Fowler, one of the team's owners. He exchanged greetings with several teammates during pregame warm-ups.
* DE Eric Taylor was activated from the practice squad. Taylor added depth to a defensive line that has lost DT Kevin Williams for two to four weeks because of a knee injury. The Vikings are hopeful Williams will be able to return Dec. 18 against Pittsburgh.
* LG Chris Liwienski, who lost his starting job after nine games, was kept active for Sunday's game at Detroit because the Vikings were concerned about new LG Anthony Herrera's matchup against Lions DT Shaun Rogers. Liwienski did see action in place of Herrera in the second quarter. Liwienski also subbed for RG Adam Goldberg during the second half.
* P Chris Kluwe suffered both a sprained left ankle and strained right knee on separate plays at Detroit. Kluwe injured his ankle in the third quarter when he was hit by the Lions' Vernon Fox. In the second quarter, Kluwe injured his knee while trying to punt on the run after a high snap from Cullen Loeffler. Kluwe said he would be fine for Sunday's game against St. Louis, but the Vikings could be forced to bring back veteran Darren Bennett.
* WR Troy Williamson was inactive again Sunday against Detroit.
K-Rob Brings Back Explosiveness
Viking Update Top Stories
Reports: Peterson nearing dealFormer Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could find a home before the NFL draft kicks off Thursday.
Viking Update1:13 PM
Mayock on Vikings’ ‘splash’ decisionWithout a first-round pick, what does NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock expect from the Minnesota Vikings’ second-round pick?
Viking Update12:36 PM
Former Vikings tackle calls it a careerThe Minnesota Vikings didn’t have Jake Long for long last year, but the Vikings will go down as the offensive tackle’s last NFL team.
Viking Update9:54 AM
In-depth NFL draft analysis: SafetiesOne of the best safety classes in some time could see two of them chosen in the top 10 and many more in the first two days. Is it worth a shot for the Minnesota Vikings? We assess…
Viking Update7:29 AM