Vikings suddenly award-worthy

A win with two big performances put two Vikings on the awards radar. Chris Kluwe was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and Brett Favre is up for a couple of awards as well.

The Miracle at the Metrodome Sunday has already produced one award and two more seem inevitable to be on the way.

In a rarity for the NFL weekly awards, punter Chris Kluwe won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. All four of his punts were downed inside the Cardinals 20-yard line, including a punt that pinned Arizona on its 1-yard line.

In a week where special teams touchdowns were scored right and left, it seemed a bit strange that a punter would get the nod, much less a player who just a couple of years ago was blamed for a huge game from Reggie Bush in the return game and was subject to a cattle call of challengers to his starting job.

The award was the first weekly award for Kluwe, who has been consistently near the top of the league in net punting average. He has helped transform the Vikings punts coverage team from one of the league's worst just a couple of years ago to one of the best. It is the second NFL award won by Kluwe, who was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September 2005.

Quarterback Brett Favre is up for a pair of awards himself that it seems hard for him to lose. He is a finalist for the FedEx Ground and Air Players of the Week award after throwing for a career-best in yards. He is also a finalist in the Weekly "Never Say Never Moment" award, where Favre is up against Jacoby Ford of the Raiders and Mark Sanchez of the Jets. How can you say "never say never" and not give it to Favre, who, with all of his comeback wins, had never overcome a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to win a game?

Fans who attended Sunday's game and didn't leave early (thousands did) saw something special. The NFL has already confirmed the special teams component with more awards expected to follow.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings return to practice today, where we will learn more about the injury status of Percy Harvin, who posted career-best numbers despite playing on a hobbling ankle injury.

  • The Vikes may add calf to the litany of Favre injuries. Following Sunday's game, Favre had a sick bruise on the back of his left calf that looked bad and had Favre complaining about the pain – which is something for a man with two broken bones in a foot, a hideous-looking ankle and tendinitis in his throwing elbow.

  • The Vikings lost safety Colt Anderson off their practice squad Tuesday when he was signed by the Eagles. Anderson has spent the last two seasons on the Vikings practice squad. The Vikings play the Eagles later in the season and, by signing him off the Vikings practice squad, Philadelphia must put him on the 53-man roster.

  • The Vikings spent last week with 52 players on the roster after not filling in the spot created with the release of Randy Moss. It is expected that Sidney Rice will be activated this week to fill that roster spot. With Anderson's signing, the Vikings have a vacancy on both the 53-man roster and the practice squad.

  • Brad Childress said on his weekly spot on Sirius NFL Radio that Rice is close to returning, but didn't acknowledge that he would be activated this week to fill the 53rd spot on the active roster.

  • Former Packer cornerback Al Harris cleared waivers Tuesday and is free to negotiate with any team. The Vikings have reportedly expressed an interest in Harris.

  • The Packers have their bye week this week, the last of the byes for the 2010 season. When they play the Vikings, it will be with their personnel rested with two weeks to prepare for the Vikings.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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