Vikings told Minnesota Gophers field will be safe

MINNEAPOLIS — Interim coach Leslie Frazier said Friday the NFL has assured the Vikings that the field at TCF Bank Stadium will be safe for Monday night's game against Chicago.

Concerns about how slick or hard the field might be has caused concerns for players on both the Vikings and Bears this week since the game was shifted because of the collapse of the Metrodome roof.

"It seems like that (worry has) dissipated and everyone is moving on past it and just concentrating on the game," Frazier said. "They know that the league has exhausted all avenues. They've tried to be up front about it. Most guys have tried to put that out of their mind."

The university issued a release Friday saying that 90 percent of the playing surface had been cleared and that the FieldTurf was in better shape than it was for the Minnesota Gophers' last game because it had an insulation from the snow that had built up.

According to the university, once the snow is completely cleared, a tarp will be placed over the playing surface with heaters underneath to maintain the current conditions.


Vikings players will get an idea of what the footing will be like Sunday when they conduct their walk-through.

"That's very important," Frazier said. "That's one of the reasons we want to be able to get on that surface so our guys can kind of have a feel for what's required from a shoe standpoint and also just to get a little bit a lay of the land."

According to, the overnight low Monday night will be 17 degrees with a 40 percent chance of snow and wind at 7 miles per hour. That would make it feel like 7 degrees with the wind chill. There is a 60 percent chance of snow during the day.

Among the best

Five current Vikings are expected to be named among the top 50 in franchise history when that list is revealed Sunday during a celebration of the team's first 50 seasons held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield, running back Adrian Peterson, defensive end Jared Allen, guard Steve Hutchinson and defensive tackle Kevin Williams all are believed to have made a list that was generated largely by fan voting but included discussion among staff as well as former players and coaches.

The list, which will not be ranked 1-50, also includes quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton, Tommy Kramer and Daunte Culpepper.

Peterson sits as precaution


Peterson missed a second consecutive day of practice Friday, but Frazier said the move is just "precautionary" and that it's expected the running back will play Monday.

Peterson is listed with ankle and knee injuries, but Frazier said the real issue is that Peterson is suffering from a thigh bruise after his collision with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson last Monday in the Vikings' loss to the Giants.

Quarterback Brett Favre, who is suffering from numbness in his throwing hand and is listed with chest, ankle and right shoulder issues, hasn't been ruled out, despite the fact it's appearing more and more like his season is over. Favre did not practice and it's expected Joe Webb will start versus Chicago.

Also sitting out for the Vikings on Friday were Hutchinson (thumb) and safeties Tyrell Johnson (knee) and Jamarca Sanford (concussion). Defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle) was limited.


—Winfield was selected to the USA Football/NFL Players Association all-fundamentals team. The award is given for on-and-off the field work done by players.

—Frazier on if he's picked his attire to wear on the sideline Monday: "Not yet, but if you guys can recognize me, you're doing pretty good. We won't be Bud Grant out there."

—ESPN's executives say there are no issues with televising Monday's game and that the usual 32 cameras will be employed.

What To Read Next
Get Local