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2016 Minnesota Vikings season

Updated: 2017-06-10T21:01Z
2016 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coachMike Zimmer (games 1–12, 14–16)
Mike Priefer (interim, game 13)
General managerRick Spielman
OwnerZygi Wilf
Home fieldU.S. Bank Stadium
Division place3rd NFC North
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro Bowlers
AP All-ProsKR Cordarrelle Patterson (1st team)
Vikings16 three.png

The 2016 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 56th in the National Football League and the third under head coach Mike Zimmer.

The Vikings' new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis opened this year, with a regular season debut victory on September 18 against division rival Green Bay on NBC Sunday Night Football. It was built on the site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the team's home from 1982 through 2013. The Vikings played at the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota in 2014 and 2015.

After starting the season with five consecutive wins prior to their bye week, the Vikings managed just three victories after the bye and were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16 with a 38–25 road loss to the Packers.[1] They joined the 1978 Redskins, 1993 Saints, 2003 Vikings, 2009 Broncos, 2009 Giants and the 2015 Falcons to miss the playoffs after starting 5–0 or better. The Vikings are the only team in NFL history to start 5–0 or better twice, and on both occasions miss the playoffs.

On September 3, quarterback Sam Bradford was traded to the Vikings for a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 Draft.[2][3] The trade was made after starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending ACL tear and dislocated knee during team practice on August 30, 2016.[4] Originally, it was reported that Bridgewater's injury would keep him out for around a year-and-a-half, and on January 27, 2017, it was reported that it was possible he could also miss the entire 2017 season.[5] Adrian Peterson left the second game with a torn meniscus.[6][7] On September 22, Peterson underwent successful surgery to repair the meniscus. It was also revealed that the knee had a mild LCL sprain, but it did not need surgery.[8] He was placed on injured reserve on September 23, 2016,[9] and reactivated on December 17,[10] but only made six rushing attempts before leaving the game, ending his season. Peterson left the team at the end of the season, ending his 10-year tenure with the Vikings.


2016 Draft

2016 Minnesota Vikings draft[11]
Draft orderPlayer namePositionHeightWeightCollegeContractNotes
12323Laquon TreadwellWR6-2211Ole Miss4 years / $9.93 million[12]
22354Mackensie AlexanderCB5-11190Clemson4 years / $4.3 million
32386Traded to the Miami Dolphins[A]
423121Willie BeaversG6-4324Western Michigan4 years / $2.88 million
521160Kentrell BrothersILB6-0245Missouri4 years / $2.57 million
65180Moritz BöhringerWR6-4227Schwäbisch Hall (GFL)4 years / $2.49 millionfrom 49ers[B]
11186Traded to the Miami Dolphins[C]from Dolphins[A]
13188David Morgan IITE6-4262UTSA4 years / $2.47 millionfrom Eagles[D]
21196Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[D]from Texans via Patriots and Dolphins[C]
23198Traded to the San Diego Chargers[E]
76227Stephen WeatherlyLB6-4267Vanderbilt4 years / $2.42 millionfrom Ravens via Dolphins[C]
19240Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[D]from Bills[F]
23244Jayron KearseS6-4216Clemson4 years / $2.4 million

Draft trades

  1. ^ a b The Vikings traded their third-round selection (86th) to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Miami's sixth-round selection (186th) and Miami's third- and fourth-round selection in 2017.[13]
  2. ^ San Francisco traded their sixth-round selection (180th) and center Nick Easton to Minnesota in exchange for linebacker Gerald Hodges.[14]
  3. ^ a b c The Vikings traded the sixth-round selection they acquired from the Miami Dolphins (186th) back to the Dolphins in exchange for Miami's sixth-round selection and the seventh-round selection they acquired from the Ravens (196th and 227th).[15]
  4. ^ a b c Philadelphia traded their sixth-round selection (188th) to Minnesota in exchange for the sixth-round selection Minnesota acquired from the Dolphins and their seventh-round selection (196th and 240th).[16]
  5. ^ The Vikings traded their original sixth-round selection (198th) to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for guard Jeremiah Sirles.[17]
  6. ^ Buffalo traded their 2016 sixth-round selection (240th) and a 2015 fifth-round selection (137th) to the Vikings in exchange for quarterback Matt Cassel and Minnesota's 2015 sixth-round selection (187th).[18]

Roster changes

DatePlayer namePositionContract terms
March 7, 2016Andrew SendejoS4 years / $16 million[19]
Adam ThielenWR1 year / $600,000[20]
March 8, 2016Audie ColeLB1 year / $760,000[21]
March 9, 2016Mike HarrisG1 year / $1.9 million[22]
March 15, 2016Rhett EllisonTE1 year / $2.25 million[23]
Marcus SherelsCB2 years / $4 million[23]
March 16, 2016Matt AsiataRB1 year / $840,000[24]
March 18, 2016Terence NewmanCB1 year / $3 million[23]
Justin TrattouDE1 year / $810,000[25]
April 11, 2016Chad GreenwayLB1 year / $2.75 million[26]
April 18, 2016Zach LineFB1 year / $1.671 million[27]
September 9, 2016Joe BergerC1-year extension[28]
DatePlayer namePositionPrevious teamContract terms
March 10, 2016Alex BooneGSan Francisco 49ers4 years / $26.8 million[33]
Emmanuel LamurLBCincinnati Bengals2 years / $6 million[22]
March 18, 2016Andre SmithOTCincinnati Bengals1 year / $4.5 million[34]
May 10, 2016C. J. HamHBAugustana (NCAA)
August 1, 2016Terrance PlummerLBMinnesota Vikings
September 3, 2016Sam BradfordQBPhiladelphia EaglesTrade[35]
September 4, 2016Joel StaveQBWisconsin (NCAA)Practice Squad[36]
C. J. HamHBAugustana (NCAA)
Moritz BöhringerWRSchwäbisch Hall (GFL)
Kyle CarterTEPenn State (NCAA)
Willie BeaversOLWestern Michigan (NCAA)
Isame FacianeOGMinnesota Vikings
Stephen WeatherlyDEVanderbilt (NCAA)
Toby JohnsonDTMinnesota Vikings
Tre RobersonCBIllinois State (NCAA)
September 4, 2016Shamiel GarySMiami DolphinsPractice Squad[37]
September 13, 2016Tre RobersonCBIllinois State (NCAA)Practice Squad
Julian WilsonCBPhiladelphia Eagles
September 23, 2016Ronnie HillmanHBDenver Broncos
October 11, 2016Jake LongOTAtlanta Falcons1 year



The Vikings' preseason opponents and schedule was announced April 7.

1August 12at Cincinnati BengalsW 17–161–0Paul Brown StadiumRecap
2August 18at Seattle SeahawksW 18–112–0CenturyLink FieldRecap
3August 28San Diego ChargersW 23–103–0U.S. Bank StadiumRecap
4September 1Los Angeles RamsW 27–254–0U.S. Bank StadiumRecap

Game summaries

Week 1: at Cincinnati Bengals

Week 1: Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals – Game summary

at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Game information

Week 2: at Seattle Seahawks

Week 2: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks – Game summary

at CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

  • Date: August 18
  • Game time: 9:00 p.m. CDT/7:00 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: Sunny, 83 °F (28 °C)
  • Game attendance: 68,469
  • Referee: Ed Hochuli (85)
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 3: vs. San Diego Chargers

Week 3: San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 4: vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 4: Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: September 1
  • Game time: 7:00 p.m. CDT
  • Game weather: None (domed stadium)
  • Game attendance: 66,262
  • Referee: Bill Vinovich (52)
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Regular season


1September 11at Tennessee TitansW 25–161–0Nissan StadiumRecap63,816
2September 18Green Bay PackersW 17–142–0U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,813
3September 25at Carolina PanthersW 22–103–0Bank of America StadiumRecap73,813
4October 3New York GiantsW 24–104–0U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,690
5October 9Houston TexansW 31–135–0U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,683
7October 23at Philadelphia EaglesL 10–215–1Lincoln Financial FieldRecap69,596
8October 31at Chicago BearsL 10–205–2Soldier FieldRecap60,422
9November 6Detroit LionsL 16–22 (OT)5–3U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,807
10November 13at Washington RedskinsL 20–265–4FedEx FieldRecap78,216
11November 20Arizona CardinalsW 30–246–4U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,808
12November 24at Detroit LionsL 13–166–5Ford FieldRecap63,793
13December 1Dallas CowboysL 15–176–6U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,860
14December 11at Jacksonville JaguarsW 25–167–6EverBank FieldRecap62,701
15December 18Indianapolis ColtsL 6–347–7U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,820
16December 24at Green Bay PackersL 25–387–8Lambeau FieldRecap77,856
17January 1Chicago BearsW 38–108–8U.S. Bank StadiumRecap66,808
  • Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: at Tennessee Titans

Week 1: Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans – Game summary

at Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee

Game information

Shaun Hill started at quarterback in the team's first game, as Sam Bradford was rested until the second game.

Week 2: vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 2: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Sam Bradford made his first start for the Vikings in week 2 against the Packers just 15 days after being traded. Despite not having much time to learn the offense, Bradford outplayed Aaron Rodgers but ended up hurting his left hand in the first half due to a hit by Clay Matthews. Bradford finished the game completing 22-of-31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, helping lead the Vikings to their first win in their new stadium.

Week 3: at Carolina Panthers

Week 3: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers – Game summary

at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Game information

Week 4: vs. New York Giants

Week 4: New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 5: vs. Houston Texans

Week 5: Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 7: at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 7: Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles – Game summary

at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Game information

Week 8: at Chicago Bears

Week 8: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears – Game summary

at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

  • Date: October 31
  • Game time: 7:30 p.m. CDT
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 58 °F (14 °C)
  • Game attendance: 60,422
  • Referee: Gene Steratore (114)
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 9: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 9: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 10: at Washington Redskins

Week 10: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins – Game summary

at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

  • Date: November 13
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Sunny, 58 °F (14 °C)
  • Game attendance: 78,216
  • Referee: Pete Morelli (135)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman and Kristina Pink
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 11: vs. Arizona Cardinals

Week 11: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: November 20
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: None (indoor stadium)
  • Game attendance: 66,808
  • Referee: Clete Blakeman (34)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 12: at Detroit Lions

NFL on Thanksgiving Day
Week 12: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions – Game summary

at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Game information

Week 13: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week 13: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Head coach Mike Zimmer missed this game after undergoing emergency eye surgery the night before. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer served as interim coach for the game.[47]

Week 14: at Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars – Game summary

at EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

  • Date: December 11
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 71 °F (22 °C)
  • Game attendance: 62,701
  • Referee: John Hussey (35)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 15: vs. Indianapolis Colts

Week 15: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: December 18
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: None (domed stadium)
  • Game attendance: 66,820
  • Referee: Jerome Boger (23)
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Adrian Peterson returned to action and had six carries for 22 yards against the Colts.[10]

Week 16: at Green Bay Packers

Week 16: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – Game summary

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Date: December 24
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 37 °F (3 °C)
  • Game attendance: 77,856
  • Referee: Jeff Triplette (42)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

With the loss, the Vikings dropped to 7–8 and were officially eliminated from postseason contention. The loss also made the Vikings the first team to twice start 5–0 or better, and on both occasions miss the playoffs (they also missed the playoffs in 2003 after starting 6–0).

Week 17: vs. Chicago Bears

Week 17: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Date: January 1, 2017
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: None (domed stadium)
  • Game attendance: 66,808
  • Referee: Terry McAulay (77)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Dick Stockton, David Diehl and Kristina Pink
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information



NFC North
(4) Green Bay Packers1060.6255–18–4432388W6
(6) Detroit Lions970.5633–37–5346358L3
Minnesota Vikings880.5002–45–7327307W1
Chicago Bears3130.1882–43–9279399L4


Division leaders
1Dallas CowboysEast1330.8133–39–3.471.440L1
2Atlanta FalconsSouth1150.6885–19–3.480.452W4
3Seattle SeahawksWest1051.6563–2–16–5–1.441.425W1
4Green Bay PackersNorth1060.6255–18–4.508.453W6
Wild Cards
5New York GiantsEast1150.6884–28–4.486.455W1
6[a]Detroit LionsNorth970.5633–37–5.475.392L3
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7[a]Tampa Bay BuccaneersSouth970.5634–27–5.492.434W1
8Washington RedskinsEast871.5313–36–6.516.430L1
9Minnesota VikingsNorth880.5002–45–7.492.457W1
10Arizona CardinalsWest781.4694–1–16–5–1.463.366W2
11[b]New Orleans SaintsSouth790.4382–46–6.523.393L1
12[b]Philadelphia EaglesEast790.4382–45–7.559.518W2
13Carolina PanthersSouth6100.3751–55–7.518.354L2
14Los Angeles RamsWest4120.2502–43–9.504.500L7
15Chicago BearsNorth3130.1882–43–9.521.396L4
16San Francisco 49ersWest2140.1252–42–10.504.250L1
  1. ^ a b Detroit finished ahead of Tampa Bay for the No. 6 seed and qualified for the last playoff spot based on record vs. common opponents — Detroit's cumulative record against Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New Orleans was 3–2, while Tampa Bay's cumulative record against the same four teams was 2–3.
  2. ^ a b New Orleans finished ahead of Philadelphia based on better record vs. conference opponents.
  3. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.


2016 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

Pro Bowl

Four Vikings were selected for the 2017 Pro Bowl: defensive end Everson Griffen, return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and free safety Harrison Smith. Rhodes will be playing in his first Pro Bowl, while Griffen, Patterson and Smith will all be playing in their second; Patterson is the first return specialist in Vikings history to go to two Pro Bowls.[48] Linval Joseph will replace Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.[49]

Final roster

2016 Minnesota Vikings final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
53 Active, 13 Inactive, 9 Practice squad


Team leaders

Passing yardsSam Bradford3,877
Passing touchdownsSam Bradford20
Rushing yardsJerick McKinnon539
Rushing touchdownsMatt Asiata6
ReceptionsStefon Diggs84
Receiving yardsAdam Thielen967
Receiving touchdownsKyle Rudolph7
PointsKai Forbath56
Kickoff return yardsCordarrelle Patterson792
Punt return yardsMarcus Sherels292
TacklesEric Kendricks109
SacksDanielle Hunter12.5
InterceptionsXavier Rhodes5
Forced fumblesLinval Joseph
Brian Robison

Source: Minnesota Vikings' official website[50]

League rankings

CategoryTotal yardsYards per gameNFL rank
(out of 32)
Passing offense3,836239.818th
Rushing offense1,20575.332nd
Total offense5,041315.128th
Passing defense3,327207.93rd
Rushing defense1,711106.920th
Total defense5,038314.93rd



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  3. ^ Smith, Alex (September 3, 2016). "Sam Bradford Traded To Minnesota". Philadelphia Eagles. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ Goessling, Ben (August 30, 2016). "Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater dislocates knee, tears ACL in drill". Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Report: Bridgewater likely to miss 2017 season". January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  6. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (September 19, 2016). "Adrian Peterson has torn meniscus". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (September 21, 2016). "Will this be Adrian Peterson's last stand in Minnesota?". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 22, 2016). "Adrian Peterson undergoes successful knee surgery". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ Gantt, Darin (September 23, 2016). "Vikings put Adrian Peterson on injured reserve". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Orr, Conor (December 17, 2016). "Vikings activate RB Adrian Peterson (knee) from IR". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
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  12. ^ Boilard, Kevin (May 13, 2016). "Report: Laquon Treadwell's contract worth nearly $10 million". 247Sports. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ Tomasson, Chris (April 29, 2016). "Vikings trade out of third round, getting three picks from Miami". Retrieved April 29, 2016. 
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  15. ^ Nogle, Kevin (April 30, 2016). "Miami Dolphins pick Jakeem Grant in sixth round". SBNation. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
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  17. ^ Alper, Josh (September 5, 2015). "Chargers trade Jeremiah Sirles to Vikings as they hit 53 players". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  18. ^ Smith, Michael David (March 4, 2015). "Bills acquire Matt Cassel in trade with Vikings". NBC Sports. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ Florio, Mike (March 5, 2016). "Vikings re-sign Andrew Sendejo". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
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  22. ^ a b c d Tomasson, Chris (March 9, 2016). "Vikings have deals with offensive linemen Alex Boone, Mike Harris". Digital First Media. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  23. ^ a b c "Vikings re-sign Sherels, Ellison, Newman". Associated Press. March 15, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Matt Asiata Contract, Salary Cap Details & Breakdowns". Spotrac. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Justin Trattou Contract, Salary Cap Details & Breakdowns". Spotrac. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Chad Greenway Contract, Salary Cap Details & Breakdowns". Spotrac. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
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  29. ^ a b "Vikings Release Mike Wallace, Waive Austin Wentworth". Minnesota Vikings Football. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
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