MINNEAPOLIS -- Philadelphia linebacker Zach Brown took some shots Friday at Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, his former teammate in Washington.
Cousins played with the Redskins from 2012-17, and Brown was his teammate in 2017. He’ll go against Cousins on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“I think every defense is going to want that guy to throw the ball,’’ Brown told reporters in Philadelphia. “For me, that’s probably the weakest part of their offense is him. Everything else is good. They’ve got a good running game, probably one of the best in the league. They have real good receivers. You just want them to pass the ball. You want Kirk Cousins to get it in his hands.’’
Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million contract with the Vikings in March 2018. He developed a reputation with the Redskins for being turnover prone, and that has continued in Minnesota, where he has thrown 12 interceptions and lost nine fumbles in 21 games.
“I realized when I was in Washington, he was kind of careless with the ball,’’ Brown said. “But at the same time, hey, you make the bed you sleep in. . . . Make him frustrated back there. “First we have to stop the run, and then make him frustrated back there.”
Ex-Viking has ‘chip on my shoulder’
A month after being waived by the Vikings and not even being offered a spot on the practice squad, cornerback Craig James started an NFL game Sunday.
Because of injuries in Philadelphia’s secondary, the second-year man got the nod against the New York Jets. Next, James will suit up Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium against the team that released him.
James likely won’t start, because Sidney Jones has returned from a hamstring injury. But he expects to at least play on special teams.
“I got a little chip on my shoulder,’’ James said of being let go at the end of the preseason by Minnesota. “But that’s how the cookie crumbles. … I just want to go out there and play the best that I can and clear up any doubt in anybody’s head.’’
James played his first two seasons at the University of Minnesota before finishing his college career at Southern Illinois. He spent time last season on the Vikings’ practice squad before being promoted and getting into three games in December on special teams.
“He wasn’t even offered practice squad,’’ James’ agent, Nodirbek Talipov, said of his client being cut on Aug. 31. “That was kind of surprising.’’
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he couldn’t “remember all the details about when he got released.’’ Zimmer called James “pretty smart” and a “good player.’’
Talipov said five or six teams inquired about James before he was signed to Philadelphia’s practice squad, including Houston, Indianapolis and the New York Jets. He was promoted to the active roster for a Week 2 game before being waived and put back on the practice squad. He was re-signed Sept. 24, two days before the Eagles played at Green Bay.
Because of an injury, James entered the game in the waning minutes with the Eagles leading 34-27. On his second play, James deflected a pass from Aaron Rodgers near the goal line and it was intercepted by Nigel Bradham to secure the win.
“It was an amazing opportunity to go in and have my second (NFL) legit-like defensive snap be a pass breakup to win the game against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers,’’ James said. “It will definitely be a story to tell my kids when I get older, when I have kids.’
Talipov expects that could be a play the Eagles (3-2) remember for a long time. They were 1-2 entering the game.
“He saved their season,’’ Talipov said. “To me, he’s a hero in Philly.’’
Not worried about Sendejo
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is not worried about going against safety Andrew Sendejo for the first time in a game.
The two were Minnesota teammates for six seasons before the Vikings in March didn’t pick up Sendejo’s contract option and he signed with Philadelphia. Sendejo has a reputation for hard hitting and has been fined by the NFL for illegal hits. He was suspended for one game in 2017.
“I know he’s had a track record of getting fines and stuff like that, but I remember when he was here, a lot of those hits were I think questionable as far as fines and things like that,’’ Thielen said. “I think he’s a pretty clean football player in general. … I don’t think I’ve ever thought of him as a dirty player.”