An undrafted 20-year-old heading to the AHL may not be big news in most cases, but Woodbury native Bennan Menell's path to the pros is quite the story. Cut from St. Thomas Academy's varsity team as a sophomore, Menell left Minnesota for the Canadian major-junior ranks as a teenager, joining the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes and becoming a point-per-game defender in his third season. Menell's play earned him an invite to the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, a spot in training camp and -- finally -- an NHL sweater. Menell made his preseason debut Saturday, before signing a contract with the Wild on Tuesday. Undersized for a defenseman at 5-foot-11, Menell says he looks up to 5-foot-9 veteran Jared Spurgeon, who has become a key cog on the Wild's blue line despite his stature.
USA TODAY SportsMarilyn Indahl
Laquon Treadwell, Vikings receiver (↓ DOWN)
Treadwell's involvement was on the rise through the first two weeks of the season, but the catches haven't been there. After playing on 55 percent of the Vikings' offensive snaps in Week 1 and 77 percent in Week 2, Treadwell's numbers fell to 42 percent in Week 3. He was targeted just once by quarterback Case Keenum, who threw the ball 33 times for 369 yards and three touchdowns. The two appeared to be developing a connection after Keenum targeted Treadwell six times in Week 2, but the sophomore receiver remains an afterthought in an offense dominated by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
The Vikings may have had big plans for Murray at one point, but the emergence of rookie Dalvin Cook has put them on hold, at least for now. Murray was on the field for just eight offensive snaps Sunday, carrying the ball twice for five yards. There are plenty of carries to go around -- Cook had a whopping 27 against the Buccaneers -- but Murray's involvement remains minimal. Once expected to take over as the Vikings' goal-line back, Murray is instead competing with scat back Jerick McKinnon for carries.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Rempel
Brian Dozier, Twins second baseman (↑ UP)
Buxton provided the defense, while Dozier did the honors on offense. Doz hit a three-run homer in the top of the eighth to put the Twins ahead 7-6. Dozier's latest dinger may not have technically delivered the Twins to the playoffs, but their "magic number" is official down to one. An Angels loss or another Twins win is all Minnesota needs to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2010.
Sylvia Fowles, Lynx center (↑ UP)
Head coach Cheryl Reeve put the Lynx on blast after her veteran squad dropped a nail-biter to the Los Angeles Sparks in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. The reigning MVP responded to her coach's fury with a record-breaking performance, grabbing a Finals-record 17 rebounds to lead the Lynx to a 70-68 win over L.A. at Williams Arena.
NBAE via Getty ImagesDavid Sherman
Sam Bradford, Vikings quarterback (↓ DOWN)
Despite a week's worth of positive news, Bradford's situation went from uncertain to mildly terrifying over the course of an afternoon last week after reports began emerging Friday that Bradford's knee injury would keep him out for a second straight game. Reports eventually became official statements from the Vikings, which led to a report that Bradford was seeking the opinion of noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who has twice repaired a torn ACL in that same knee.
Associated PressKeith Srakocic
Miguel Ibarra, Minnesota United midfielder (↑ UP)
It's been a mixed bag for Ibarra during his Minnesota reunion tour, but one of the Loons' original stars looked like the Miguel of old Saturday during United's 4-1 win over Dallas. Ibarra hooked up with longtime teammate Christian Ramirez -- the two were dubbed "Batman and Superman" during United's NASL days -- in the 34th minute. Ramirez popped the ball over the Dallas defense, setting up a run for Ibarra, who buried the eventual game-winner.