Vikings won’t be practicing outdoors

Published 11:14am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

By St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Vikings don’t plan to practice outside in advance of their NFC wild-card game in Green Bay on Saturday, Jan. 5 — their outdoor fields are covered with snow, and any thought coach Leslie Frazier had of going outside was scuttled when he saw subzero temperatures Tuesday.

“They’ll have to go without me on that one,” he joked.

Instead, the Vikings opened the doors to their indoor practice facility Tuesday, hoping the draft from outside would give them some idea of what Lambeau Field will be like Saturday night.

When they head outside this weekend, though, they will have to curb the turnover problem they’ve had on the road this year. The Vikings have committed 11 turnovers in five outdoor games this season and lost 23-14 at Lambeau Field on Dec. 2 after quarterback Christian Ponder threw two interceptions.

“We know the importance of takeaways and giveaways,” Frazier said.

“It just so happens we haven’t done very well when it comes to that stat outdoors.”

But we’ll get another chance at it, so we’ve got to figure it out.”

That task could get tougher Saturday with the return of Packers defensive back Charles Woodson from a broken collarbone. Woodson has 55 career interceptions and has forced 29 fumbles in his 15-year career, and the Packers typically have moved Woodson all over the field, using him on blitzes and run support as well as pass coverage.

“Charles has always played three — at one time, four — positions in our defense,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Just to have the flexibility with him, and put that with the creativity of (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers in our scheme, it’s definitely something that gives us another weapon.”