The Vikings plan to mix in more of their younger players as the game wears on Sunday.
Vikings coach Mike Tice wants to take a look at some of his younger players, and with Sunday's game having no impact on the playoff race he has that opportunity.
Among those expected to benefit are WR Troy Williamson
, TE Richard Angulo
, RB Ciatrick Fason
, LB Rod Davis
and CB Dovonte Edwards
The chance to get a look at some new talent should be especially helpful on offense, where fewer players have had a chance to show what they can do this season.
Angulo is someone many have not heard of, but the third-year tight end from Western New Mexico has impressed Tice with his performance in practice this season. At 6-foot-8, Angulo reminds Tice of none other himself.
Williamson, the seventh overall pick in the April draft, has shown flashes of ability but has been too inconsistent and hasn't had a chance to make an impact. One of the reasons is because the Vikings have tried to use five receivers this season. One or more of the veteran receivers will end up seeing limited duty Sunday.
Fason, a fourth-round pick, also has seen limited time in short-yardage situations but has struggled of late in that role. Sunday's game should give him a chance to get carries in a variety of situations. RB Adimchinobe Echemandu
also stands to get a few attempts.
The Vikings faced the Bears this season in their first game after the bye and also their first after the infamous boat party on Lake Minnetonka. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter but Chicago was ahead 7-3 by halftime and scored 21 points in the final two quarters. Tight end Desmond Clark caught two touchdown passes from then-Bears starter Kyle Orton, and running back Thomas Jones ran for two scores in Chicago's 28-3 win.
Receiver Koren Robinson, who has been named to the NFC Pro Bowl team as a kick returner, caught his first pass as a Viking in the meeting at Chicago. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins finished with a career-high 10 receptions in that game.
Sunday's game won't bring back pleasant memories for Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman. Grossman's last appearance at the Metrodome came in September 2004 when he ruptured a ligament in his right knee on a 6-yard touchdown run in a 27-22 loss to the Vikings. The injury ended Grossman's season.
After coaching the Vikings on an interim basis in their regular-season finale in 2001 following Dennis Green's dismissal, Mike Tice made his debut as the Vikings' full-time coach in 2002 against the Bears in Champaign, Ill. Chicago edged the Vikings 27-23, and Minnesota went on to finish 6-10 that season. One of those six victories came against Chicago at the Metrodome.
The Vikings will complete their 45th season against the same team that they played in their first regular-season game in 1961. Coached by Norm Van Brocklin and sparked by a rookie quarterback who came off the bench, the Vikings shocked the Bears 37-13 at Metropolitan Stadium. Quarterback Fran Tarkenton completed 17 of 23 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns after replacing George Shaw.
Former Vikings general manager Jim Finks, who hired Bud Grant as the team's coach in 1967 and saw the franchise win five NFC Central titles and make two Super Bowl appearances, left Minnesota in 1973 to run the Bears. Finks, who passed away on May 8, 1994, worked for the Bears until 1982.
The late Walter Payton's 275-yard rushing performance against the Vikings on Nov. 20, 1977, is no longer an NFL record, but it still stands as the most yards gained on the ground in a game versus Minnesota.
BY THE NUMBERS: 32-34 - Mike Tice's career record entering Sunday's regular-season finale against Chicago.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was going to come in and announce a five-year (contract) extension, but I didn't get the call." - Coach Mike Tice, joking at his Monday news conference, when asked about his future.