It's not the first time Gary Anderson has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week as a Viking. In fact, it's his fourth. But this one is likely the most gratifying.
Anderson, the oldest player in the NFL, was a heart-wrenching cut by coach Mike Tice after last season. The theory was that the Vikings couldn't use four roster spots for specialists -- kickoff man, field goal kicker, punter and long-snapper. So Anderson was shown the door. Although other teams expressed an interest, he wanted to keep him family in Minnesota and made it clear the only team he would play for was the Vikings.
Less than a month into the season, Anderson got the call. He's made 17 of 21 field goals since and has given Tice reason to wonder about not keeping him on next year. Younger legs and a roster spot are important, but so is winning games and, as Anderson showed last weekend, he can still do that and get the respect of the NFL.
CHRISTMAS DAY NOTES
* Anderson said Tuesday that the best part of the game-winning field goal was seeing Cris Carter's reaction that night on the news. Anderson, who isn't a big fan of CC, told VU and others Monday that after Carter had dropped (his words) a potential game-winning touchdown, he saw him telling teammates that Anderson couldn't make a 53-yard field goal. "A big part of the whole thing was seeing Cris Carter's face," Anderson said of the kick. "That was my favorite part."
* The Vikings gave the players today off. In order to ease travel plans, the team let players out at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and will let them show up an hour later than normal Thursday.
* Byron Chamberlain's MRI on his ankle showed no structural damage, but he was in a walking boot Tuesday and almost assuredly won't play Sunday.
* WR Kelly Campbell is doing better and participated in some of Tuesday's practice. Tice thinks there is a decent chance he will play Sunday.
* Tyrone Carter practiced but is still being slowed by an ankle injury. If he can't go Sunday or is limited, Moe Williams will be asked to return kickoffs.
Anderson Named Special Teamer of Week
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