Blackout Avoided

It's becoming a bit of a theme this season, but the Vikings got corporate help to once again buy up the remaining tickets for Sunday's game to avoid a blackout after they were granted a 25-hour extension to 1 p.m. Friday.

The Vikings got a 25-hour extension from the NFL Thursday that kept the likelihood of the team continuing its 102-game sellout streak alive and well.

The team was supposed to face a noon Thursday deadline in order to move the remaining tickets, but, as the initial deadline came and went, there were still more than 2,000 tickets remaining for Sunday's game with the Lions. The new deadline had been set for 1 p.m. Friday with no more extensions possible.

Shortly before that deadline, the Vikings announced that U.S. Bank, SuperClean Brands/Factory Value Parts and KMSP FOX 9 have purchased the remaining 2,100 tickets and will donate them to local charities. The game, which will be the team's 102nd consecutive sellout, will be televised locally on KMSP FOX 9 at noon Central Time.

"We appreciate key local partners like U.S. Bank, SuperClean and FVP, along with FOX 9, making the investments needed for this Sunday's game to be a sellout and to remain on local television," said Steve LaCroix, the Vikings vice president of sales and marketing.

The Vikings have had their share of problems selling out games this season. The opener against the Falcons needed help from the local FOX affiliate, as did the game earlier this month against the Eagles. The Twin Cities CBS affiliate had to step in the buy the remaining tickets for the Chargers game and partnered with Miller Brewing Company to purchase the remaining tickets for the Raiders game.

* Troy Williamson sat out Thursday's practice with recurring headaches following a concussion he suffered returning a kickoff against the Giants last week. Williamson tried practicing Wednesday and the headaches began.
* Antoine Winfield practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day Thursday. He is likely to be a game-time decision because Brad Childress has stated he needs to be at full speed if he's going to be active against the pass-happy Lions.
* Tank Williams missed a second straight practice with a knee injury.
* Kenechi Udeze returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday to be with his wife as she gave birth to their daughter.
* The Vikings can do the Packers a favor on Sunday. With a win over Detroit, both teams would be at 6-2 in the conference, but it would allow the Packers to clinch the NFC North despite losing to the Cowboys last night.
* Adrian Peterson continues to lead all NFL running backs in the fan voting for the Pro Bowl with 457,426 votes. Tony Richardson leads all fullbacks with 117,596 votes. The teams will be announced Dec. 18.
* Peterson and Chester Taylor split the reps evenly Thursday at practice, giving every indication that, despite a cumbersome knee brace, A.P. will be able to play Sunday.
* Matt Birk was named Vikings Community Man of the Year for the sixth straight season.
* Bryant McKinnie is likely to be among those who attend the funeral of Sean Taylor Monday. McKinnie was a close friend and college teammate of Taylor's and was one of the first notified that Taylor had been shot and later killed by an intruder in his home.
* The Lions' Shaun McDonald has passed Mike Furrey on the depth chart to be the team's No. 3 receiver.

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