The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

August 9, 2013

Vikings fall to Houston 27-13

Houston defeat Minnesota 27-13 in Minneapolis

(Continued)

Veterans Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway all sat out for the Vikings, and Desmond Bishop (groin) and Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) were held out.

The Texans held 20 players out, some because of injuries and others due to the desire to protect important players. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels were missing from the offense, and J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Ed Reed were held out on defense.

Foster has been on the physically unable to perform list, first for a strained calf and now with a back issue, so the chance of him carrying the ball in an exhibition game this month is slim.

After finishing seventh in the NFL in total yards last season and setting a team record by averaging 26 points per game on their way to a franchise-best 12-4 finish and second straight playoff appearance, the Texans are on track for another elite performance if they can keep their core players healthy.

Adding Hopkins, the sure-handed kid from Clemson, can't hurt. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Hopkins was targeted five times in the first half, including by Yates when he had a one-on-one matchup with Bobby Felder along the sideline. He leaped over the cornerback's head to haul in the ball and cradle it close as he fell to the turf in the end zone.

Ben Tate will be Foster's backup, but undrafted rookies Dennis Johnson (Arkansas), Cierre Wood (Notre Dame) and Graham (Pittsburgh) are in an intriguing competition for the No. 3 spot in the backfield. Wood stood out the most, with 10 rushes for 59 yards and one catch for 14 yards.

The Texans can play some defense, too, starting with the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Watt, and Cushing is coming back from a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee.

Injuries have been an issue in training camp for the Texans so far, but Brooks Reed, Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton all started the game.

Reserve defensive end Terrell McClain had 2½ sacks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Vikings News