2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Five things to know from Vikings-49ers

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-26 02:36

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A pair of NFC playoff contenders sure brought their physical, hard-hitting styles to a preseason matchup in late August.

Enough that the Minnesota Vikings were considering sending one particular play to the NFL for review after their 34-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams got his right knee tangled up with offensive lineman Joe Looney early in the third quarter, and Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier heard from his coaches in the booth that it might be worth mailing to the league.

Williams will undergo an MRI exam to determine the severity of the injury, Frazier said.

``That's the one we're most concerned about,'' Frazier said. ``I didn't see it, but the guys upstairs were telling me it was one of those we may want to send it to the league. They were pretty upset when they saw it. I'll have to take a look at it.''

Frazier had every reason to be concerned given there were several other rough blows to his players - and San Francisco's Lavelle Hawkins found himself apologizing to his team and coach Jim Harbaugh afterward for a trio of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Hawkins returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter, but was flagged for pointing the ball at a Vikings player before reaching the end zone and also for removing his helmet in celebration. Harbaugh chewed him out on the sideline, and Hawkins could be seen saying, ``My fault.''

Yet Hawkins received another unsportsmanlike flag for head-butting linebacker Desmond Bishop after flipping the ball toward safety Mistral Raymond following a 22-yard catch in the fourth quarter.

``Probably the two-strike level,'' Harbaugh said when asked about Hawkins' status. ``He's definitely got to do a better job of not getting emotionally hijacked after doing something great.''

Here are five things we know after the 49ers' win at Candlestick Park:

1. PONDER'S STRIDES: The Vikings spent extra time working to get their offense going after a pair of lackluster preseason games, and quarterback Christian Ponder showed plenty of improvement while noting there's still plenty to do before Week 1.

Ponder went 17 of 23 for 116 yards and two touchdowns, a step up after two unimpressive outings and a 28.3 passer rating.

``We started off a little slow but we did end on a positive note, which we are happy with,'' said Ponder, who welcomed the return of star running back Adrian Peterson for a brief appearance.

2. HUNTER'S GAINS: Kendall Hunter's first carry of the preseason and first since tearing his left Achilles' tendon in late November was a memorable one: a 15-yard burst.

Just being on the field was a big deal. He was only cleared for full practice Aug. 10.

Hunter, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 out of Oklahoma State, had 72 carries for 371 yards and two touchdowns last season in an increased role as the team's second-leading rusher behind Frank Gore last year before getting hurt at New Orleans on Nov. 25. He later underwent surgery.

Hunter isn't putting up any fancy predictions given all of the hard work he put in just to get back on the field and provide some timely relief for Gore.

``Just to come back and show them that I'm back ready to play, and whenever they need me they can count on me,'' Hunter said. ``So, I'm ready to prove that.''

3. A.P. IS A-OK: Adrian Peterson played all of two snaps in his first preseason appearance in two years.

No big deal, Peterson insists. The reigning NFL MVP will be ready to roll when the season opener arrives Sept. 8 at Detroit.

``It's all about keeping your body in shape, doing the necessary things as far as conditioning and working out, just making sure your body is ready to roll.''

He didn't touch the ball in this game, which kicks off a year in which he will try to become the first player with consecutive 2,000-yard rushing seasons.

``He's a big part of this offense. He's ready to go. Once he gets in there against Detroit, we won't miss a beat,'' Ponder said. ``We were trying to develop some other things in our offense without him, and we don't want to get him hurt.''

4. PATTON'S HAND: San Francisco fourth-round draft pick Quinton Patton sure looks healthy. Kept from catching passes two-handed for three weeks during training camp as he nursed a broken left index finger, Patton's first professional reception was a pretty 19-yard gain in which he split defenders down the middle seam. He capped the impressive drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception and a creative end zone dance.

He didn't look too far behind despite not playing the first two preseason games.

``It felt great to get back out there with everybody,'' he said. ``I kind of felt like I was being left out.''

5. STINGY SMITHS: On the right edge, Aldon and Justin Smith were at their menacing best again. They disrupted Ponder at every chance, and showed that San Francisco will bring one of the NFL's top defenses for a third straight season.

Justin Smith ran over two would-be blockers to pound Toby Gerhart for a 4-yard loss midway through the first quarter.

``Justin Smith had a burr in his saddle or something tonight,'' Harbaugh said. ``He was Justin Smith. It was great.''

Sack man Aldon Smith recovered a first-quarter fumble, and San Francisco capitalized with its first scoring drive.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group