The NFL announced its preseason schedule Tuesday and, from all indications, the league is taking into account the Vikings' mess with the Metrodome.
The preseason is expected to get underway with the Hall of Fame game between the Bear and the Rams Sunday, Aug. 7. The league hasn't released the exact times and dates of the full preseason schedule, but did announce the dates and times of 11 prime-time games which include 21 different teams (the Bears play in prime time twice). The list includes the three other teams in the NFC North, but not the Vikings.
The Vikings' first preseason game will be played between Aug. 12-14 at Tennessee, followed by a road game at Seattle Aug. 19-21. The team closes out the preseason with home games vs. Dallas Aug. 26-27 and vs. Houston Sept. 1-2.
The lineup of games seemed to take into account that repairs to the Metrodome are expected to be done by Aug. 1. By pushing the start of the Vikings' home games back to the last weekend of August, the league is giving the Metrodome as long as possible to be completed and ready to re-open as the team's official home.
Both the Vikings' and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said the team requested that the NFL schedule its first two preseason games away to accommodate an extended Metrodome repair schedule if necessary.
While the preseason doesn't mean much in the big picture of things, being one of just 11 teams that won't be shown in prime time during the preseason doesn't bode well for the team getting on the slate of Sunday and Monday night games during the regular season. The Vikings have been a big splash in the prime-time scene the last three years, but, with Brett Favre
gone and the Vikings looking to return from the bottom of the division, it doesn't appear the glare of the bright lights of prime time will be shine on Minnesota very often.
The regular season schedule is expected to be released next week.
The Vikings playing the Cowboys is no big shocker. It will be the fifth time in six years that the Vikings and Dallas have met in the preseason. The same is true with Seattle, this marking the second straight year and the sixth time in eight years that the Vikings and Seahawks have met in the preseason.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan met with current and former players for four hours Tuesday to get a feel for the union position on the current impasse. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ordered mediation between the sides in front of Judge Boylan, combined the cases between current players (known as Brady et al) with the claims of former players (known as Eller et al). Judge Boylan is scheduled to meet with the owners today with mediation sessions officially getting underway Thursday.
Ray Edwards is finding work while he and his fellow players wait for the lockout to end. Edwards signed a two-fight contract to box professionally. His first fight is scheduled for May 20 at Grand Casino Hinckley against a tomato-can-to-be-named. According to reports, he will receive a guaranteed $5,000 for the fight plus 50 percent of the gate proceeds. The second fight, if the lockout continues, would come in June.
In Tuesday's portion of the Jenn Sterger interview, she said that she never actually met Brett Favre, which makes the alleged lewd photos of him being sent to Sterger a strange sort of ice-breaker.
While players can't be signed during the work stoppage, buzz around the Jets is that they may be interested in suddenly well-traveled WR Randy Moss, although FOXSports.com's Adam Schein reported that the Jets have no interest. But the Jets have a history of trying to stick it to the Patriots (and vice versa) and still hold a grudge that the Patriots traded Moss to the Vikings last year immediately before Minnesota played New York.
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.
The Vikings' preseason schedule was released Tuesday without a nationally televised game for them. Will that be a precursor to the regular-season schedule being unveiled?
The Vikings' preseason schedule was released Tuesday without a nationally televised game for them.