Cottrell: No Looking Past Vikings

Former Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said that his San Diego Chargers playing the Minnesota Vikings would be a huge challenge, and he's preaching for the Chargers to avoid complacency against the 2-5 Vikings.

The Chargers roll into Minnesota on Sunday for a slam dunk of a game. With a three-game winning streak in tow and going against the struggling Vikings, the Chargers should have an easy day, right?

Not so fast.

If there was ever a trap game this might be it. The Chargers are not only on the road — it'll be the first start in a dome for Philip Rivers — but they also have the Colts coming to San Diego next week.

Might the Chargers peek past the Vikings?

Not a chance, according to defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.

"I think our guys, from our standpoint, know where we were in the first part of the year," Cottrell said. "We are long ways from being out of the woods. We've got a long way to go and we are still trying to dig ourselves out of it."

Cottrell, who was a failure as the Vikings' defensive coordinator from 2004-05, has preached to his players that the 2-5 Vikings are a dangerous team.

"It's going to be good a good game; it is a huge challenge for us," he said. "They are much better than their record appears and they have weapons to contend with."

The biggest, of course, is Adrian Peterson. The rookie is leading the NFL in rushing and will test a Chargers run defense which seldom struggles.

That run defense gets a boost with the return of Jamal Williams, the Pro Bowl nose tackle who missed last week's game to rest his mending knees.

"Oh (Peterson) has got it all," Cottrell said. "He has vision, acceleration — he's tough. He can run up inside on you and he can go around the corner. He is quite gifted and he has good hands to catch the ball. He is a gigantic challenge for us."

Peterson has gotten the Chargers' attention. So did a 1-3 start in which the Chargers have just recovered from in being above .500 for the first time this season.

NOTES

  • OLB Shaun Phillips (groin) didn't practice but was able to do some running drills on the side. That said, it's getting late in the week and there is a real chance Phillips will be down on Sunday. He would be replaced by Marques Harris.

  • WR Craig Davis (ankle) didn't practice and did some running on the side. But his gallop still doesn't look very smooth and he likely won't go this week.

  • DT Jamal Williams (knees) continues to work and will play Sunday. That's a key with the Vikings offering Adrian Peterson at running back.

  • DT Ryon Bingham (shoulder) was back at work after missing Wednesday's session. Bingham is a big part of the defensive line's rotation and becomes more critical if Williams would to suffer a setback during Sunday's game.

  • C Nick Hardwick (foot) didn't practice and is out at least another week.

  • CB Drayton Florence was fined $15,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Texans QB Matt Schaub on Sunday. Florence will appeal.


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