For the second time this season, a local Twin Cities TV station has been forced to buy tickets to assure a sellout. It was announced Thursday that Sunday's game with the Chargers will not be blacked out, as WCCO-TV – the local CBS affiliate – agreed to purchase the final 700 tickets.
The season opener vs. the Falcons required the Twin Cities FOX affiliate to buy about the same amount of tickets. The move made sense for WCCO. The cost of buying the tickets was $40,000 but the lost revenue from local ad spots would have topped $200,000. There were rumors that if the Vikings game wasn't broadcast, the Twin Cities market would also be denied the chance to see the late-afternoon national game between the Patriots and Colts.
While the sellout extends the Vikings' consecutive streak to 100 games, there may be less of a willingess for CBS or WCCO to buy out the tickets for the Raiders game in two weeks if seats remain. Currently, there are about 5,000 tickets remaining for that game, as well as for the Lions Dec. 2 and the Redskins Dec. 23.
While the Vikings' streak of sellouts continues, getting to 101 may be more difficult than it was to get to 100.
* The Vikings' injury report remains as extensive as it has been at any time this season with 10 players listed in some capacity. Four players did not participate Thursday, including Kelly Holcomb (neck), Bobby Wade (knee) and Troy Williamson (family funeral) for the second straight day. Antoine Winfield (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. Brian Robison (illness), was limited in practice after sitting out Wednesday. Five other players – Vinny Ciurciu (ankle), Dwight Smith (hamstring), Tarvaris Jackson (hand), Erasmus James (shoulder) and Ryan Cook (shoulder) – took part Thursday on a limited basis.
* For the Chargers, center Nick Hardwick has been ruled out with a foot injury. LB Shaun Phillips (groin) and WR Craig Davis did not participate for a second straight day. CB Quentin Jammer (hamstring) and LB Matt Wilhelm (ankle) were upgraded from no participation Wednesday to limited participation Thursday.
* The State of Texas continues to watch with interest the progress of Adrian Peterson. Three running backs born in Texas have run for more than 1,200 yards as a rookie – Eric Dickerson (1,808 in 1983), Earl Campbell (1,450 in 1978) and LaDainian Tomlinson (1,236 in 2001). The eyes of Texas remain on A.P., who currently leads the NFL in rushing and is on pace for more than 1,600 rushing yards this year.
* Daunte Culpepper was expected to eventually lose his starting job to JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft. But, with Josh McCown healthy, Pepp lost the job to him. McCown will start Sunday vs. the Texans.
* Since 1980, only three teams have started 2-5 and made the playoffs – the most recent being the Jets in 2002.
* If the NFC playoffs were to start today, the Cowboys and Packers would receive first-round byes with the other division champs being the Seahawks and Panthers and the wild card teams being the Giants and Lions.
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