A Lakeville native, Leidner was working in food service after spending a few days with the Baltimore Ravens in training camp when the Vikings called. He backed up Taylor Heinicke in the Vikings’ final preseason game, going 14-for-19 for 129 yards after Heinicke left with an injury. He was ultimately unable to crack the Vikings’ 53-man roster, but it’s a fun ending (presumably) to Leidner’s uniquely Minnesotan football career.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Joe Mauer, Twins first baseman (↑ UP)
Mauer stretched his hit streak to 14 games Tuesday, and now leads the Twins with a .302 batting average. It’s the first time since 2012 that Mauer has had a season average over .300 in September since 2012 (he missed the last month of the 2013 season, but finished August hitting .324). He’s hitting .417 this week, and .354 since the beginning of August.
USA TODAY SportsJesse Johnson
Eric Curry, Gophers forward (↓ DOWN)
Curry tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee during a pickup game last week. The Gophers forward will miss his sophomore season, a year after playing a key role for Minnesota off the bench. He appeared in all 34 games last season, averaging 5.5 points per game.
USA TODAY SportsBenny Sieu
P.J. Fleck, Gophers football coach (↑ UP)
Fleck was fired up Saturday after winning his first game since joining Minnesota earlier this year. His Gophers squeaked past Buffalo 17-7, and Fleck was as involved as any college coach has ever been. He led his team out of the tunnel Saturday, but admitted after the game that the Gophers need to improve in short order if they want to make any noise in the Big Ten this season.
Bucky Hodges, Vikings tight end (↓ DOWN)
Hodges’ Vikings career could be over before it begins after he was evaluated for a concussion in Minnesota’s final preseason game. The Vikings waived the athletic tight end with an injury designation once their 53-man roster was finalized and claimed former San Francisco 49ers tight end Blake Bell off waivers. Hodges ultimately cleared waivers and landed on injured reserve, but could make his way to another team if he can manage to get healthy during the season.
Taylor Heinicke, Vikings quarterback (↓ DOWN)
The Vikings are expected to reach an injury settlement with Heinicke despite his preseason heroics after he cleared waivers and landed on IR. Heinicke was injured in Minnesota’s final preseason game, while the Vikings turned around and signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Sloter to their practice squad. It’s a tough break for the former Old Dominion quarterback, who stuck around for two years in the Vikings’ organization after going undrafted in 2015.