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Vikings hope to prevent players from “checking out”

Leslie Frazier

Minnesota Vikings interim head coach Leslie Frazier watches the action on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

AP

The Vikings P.R. staff has nothing else to do today, so they’ve opted to harvest quotes from the team regarding the two-day delay of the Sunday night game in Philly.

The team’s leadership committee met with coach Leslie Frazier, and they explained to him the importance of keeping the players in the right frame of mind.

“We have every reason, because of the season, to say, ‘This is the last straw and I’m checking out,’” kicker Ryan Longwell said. “But this is the NFL and you can’t do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that’s what we’re trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand.”

The players, for now, seem to have the right mindset.

“Hey, at least it’s another couple of days to heal,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that’s what we’ll do. This is just another bump in the road.”

Receiver Percy Harvin was even more pragmatic. “Football is football, no matter what day you play it,” Harvin said. “They’re accommodating us very well at the hotel. We get to wash our clothes, there are movies to watch and we can eat. It’s just like being at home.”

“We have to have a positive approach to it,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. “We get a little extra time to rest, a little extra time to be in the playbook and we’re still going to be on a national stage. We still have a chance to showcase the Vikings. We need to stay ready, no matter the circumstances.”

Of course, the timing could have been better. “This is a rough one being away from our families during Christmas and being stuck in Philly,” Longwell said. “At the same time you realize that you’ve got to reconfigure the mind for Tuesday night and show up ready to play.”

With the Vikings having nothing to play for, that could be a tall order.

Missing from the list of player quotes was a sound bite from Brett Favre, who’ll now have a better chance to play with two more days to recover from the concussion he suffered on Monday night on the frozen broccoli of TCF Bank Stadium.