MINNEAPOLIS -- AP -- The Minnesota Vikings have dealt with their share of drama with the regular season opener still more than a week away. Coach Mike Zimmer is trying not to sweat the setbacks as he starts his eighth year. The amount of unvaccinated players on the roster including quarterback Kirk Cousins have caused some concern.

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The knee surgery that will likely keep tight end Irv Smith Jr. out for the season was a big blow. The Vikings will lean on running back Dalvin Cook, wide receiver Justin Jefferson and a restocked defense to try to return to the playoffs in 2021.

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