The Vikings have a chance to get a real leg up on the Packers in the NFC North this weekend, after Green Bay dropped a home game to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving 17-13.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer spoke to the media Friday, and when asked how it felt to be back in first place, he quickly brushed it off.
"We're just worrying about Atlanta," he said. "We don't care about any of that stuff."
Minnesota will be on the road for that Falcons matchup, and the defense will have to figure out wide receiver Julio Jones. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound pass-catcher with a 4.39 40-time has 89 catches for 1,189 yards and six touchdowns this season.
"They've got him everywhere," Zimmer said when asked about how Jones gets lined up in the Atlanta offense.. "He's a tremendous receiver, great athlete, catches the ball good, great size, good blocker. He's tough."
Two defensive starters who missed time this week could be back for the Vikings though.
Safety Harrison Smith (knee) and defensive end Everson Griffen (hip/shoulder) were both limited participants in practice Friday (click here to see the full injury report) after sitting out the previous two days of work with the injuries. Both are listed as questionable for Sunday's game, but Zimmer, when asked if they'd play, said "I would think so yeah."
Rookie cornerback and special teamer Trae Waynes missed practice with a ankle injury suffered during the week – Zimmer said "there's always a chance" he plays.
And one fun tidbit. Zimmer was asked about the most impressive thing about Adrian Peterson this season, and the 59-year-old coach – known for his cantankerous ways – said he recently told Peterson he appreciates "everything" the running back does, including his leadership and the way he prepares.
Did a jolt of Thanksgiving cheer prompt the kind word, one reporter asked?
"Sometimes I'm nice," Zimmer said with a shrug and a smirk. "I say nice things to guys. It's not often, but once in awhile I do."
Click here to watch Zimmer's Friday press conference.