Vikings Rumors: The “Crushed” Locker Room, Addison Accepts Blame, & Kwesi’s Perplexing Decision

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Though we’re now into the portion of the year when Vikings rumors aren’t as abundant, we’ll still be highlighting some of the purple rumblings.

The “Vikings Rumor Wrangle” is a series that keeps readers informed on what’s being whispered about in Vikings Land. In this iteration, we discuss the locker room being discouraged following Chicago, the rookie receiver accepting some responsibility, and the confusing decision in front of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

The Vikings Rumors: 11.29.2023

Rumor #1 — The Vikings’ Locker Room was “Crushed” After Defeat

Apparently, the team didn’t handle the loss particularly well. Or, at least, the loss left behind a bit of a sting.

To begin his press conference following the Monday Night football tilt, Kevin O’Connell noted that he had a locker room with some “crushed” players. Clearly, the hope and plan was to walk away with a victory, pushing the record up to a respectable 7-5 instead of a bland 6-6.

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Being unable to score more than 10 points, though, put the possibility of snagging win #7 on hold.

The Minnesota Vikings care about winning. By no means are fans watching a team that has quit on the 2023 season. By no means are fans watching a team that has quit on its head coach. The uncertainty simply rests in whether the magic that permeated the five-game winning streak from Week 6-10 remains.

The Vikings head into their bye week on a two-game losing streak. A sour note, no doubt, and yet the upside is that the Vikings have a chance to get healthy before making their playoff push.

Rumor #2 — Jordan Addison Accepts Some Blame

With Justin Jefferson being sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Jordan Addison has taken on a more prominent role.

The rookie receiver has been impressive. True, no one will mistake him for Calvin Johnson, but the smaller receiver can put defensive backs in a blender. The man has some quick feet, allowing him to create separation and score touchdowns. Addison finished the Week 12 Bears game with 6 receptions for 39 scoreless yards. He was targeted 10 times. So, a modest game for the explosive playmaker.

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) shown on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune relayed that the receiver was still wearing his equipment thirty minutes after the loss. Addison shared the specific moments he was thinking about with Krammer: “The one I tipped. And I’d say the deep one where I was wide open and it was incomplete. I feel like I gotta stay in bounds, get my feet down.”

The receiver cares about the outcome, folks, and that matters. Ideally, the disappointment of the loss will help to fuel the effort the rest of the way. A motivated Addison is going to be a nightmare to cover.

Rumor #3 — Kwesi Has a Perplexing Decision Ahead of Him

Would things feel different if the Vikings picked up a pair of wins in Week 11 and 12 rather than a pair of losses?

Good chance a couple wins would result in some positive feelings in Fargo, Minnetonka, Edina, and several other locales in Minnesota. One also wonders if the feeling would be different in Eagan, the spot where the Vikings’ main decision makers, well, make decisions.

Vikings Trade Down from No. 87
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The proud owner of a competitive rebuild, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has the capacity to spend some money to improve the roster. The team sits on a bit below $7.2 million in cap space. Committing the team toward full Super Bowl contention may involve gobbling up that cap space in 2023 rather than rolling it over into the 2024 budget.

All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard has been linked to the Vikings in the rumors. Recently, Marcus Peters was released. Minnesota could, in theory, use help at linebacker and corner (the pair of positions represented by the pair of players). Do either of these players make sense in Minnesota? Do either of these players make sense in Minnesota while sitting at .500 after Week 12?

And, of course, there are plenty others out there who would welcome the chance to put pen to paper with an NFL contract.

The GM has decisions to make. One thing is certain: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has never restricted himself to what others think the Vikings should do. Instead, he follows his own path forward. Let’s see what that means over the next few weeks.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.