After call from Mayfield, Gophers QB Annexstad impresses
FOX Sports North
Zack Annexstad, Gophers quarterback (⬆ UP)
The latest true freshman walk-on to start a season opener in major college football got a phone call from the last one ahead of the Gophers' first game. It seemed to do the trick. Annexstad looked sharp after talking with Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 draft pick Baker Mayfield, completing 16 of 33 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns to help the Gophers to a 48-10 win over New Mexico State.
Brian Robison, former Vikings defensive end (⬇ DOWN)
Robison, 35, was released over the weekend, signifying the end of an era for the Vikings' defensive line. A fourth-round pick back in 2007, Robison spent 11 seasons with Minnesota, and finishes his Vikings career with 60 sacks and 289 tackles.
Brandon Zylstra & Chad Beebe, Vikings receivers (⬆ UP)
The Vikings know the value of a quality undrafted player, particularly at the skill positions. Star receiver Adam Thielen, fullback C.J. Ham and one-time starting running back Matt Asiata have all broken through despite their undrafted status in recent years. Zylstra and Beebe are looking to become the latest after impressive preseasons. A star at Division II Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and in the CFL, Zylstra made the team despite suffering a hamstring injury towards the end of training camp, while Beebe landed on the practice squad after an impressive preseason.
Jose Berrios, Twins pitcher (⬇ DOWN)
Berrios appeared to be off and running in his most recent start, retiring the first three batters he faced. However, he gave up a solo home run three pitches later, then followed up his second strikeout with two walks and another home run. He allowed another solo shot in the fourth inning, facing four more batters before exiting. The 24-year-old All-Star hasn't had a decision go his way in a month, and hasn't gone more than five innings in a start over that span.
Newman announced his retirement over the weekend, ending a 15-year NFL career a few days before his 40th birthday. Once expected to play one final season with the Vikings, Newman was a productive defender in 2017, appearing in 16 games and starting seven. Why is he and "UP" though? He gets to transition smoothly into coaching with a unit he was probably already coaching anyway, and will be along for the ride if the Vikings do manage a run at the Super Bowl.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings quarterback (⬇ DOWN)
Cousins might not have much to worry about pass rush-wise when the Vikings take on the Packers and Lions, but the Bears? They're another story. Chicago dealt for generational defensive end Khalil Mack last week, adding an utter game-changer. He racked up 40 1/2 sacks and 231 tackles in four seasons with the Raiders, and should be giving Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford nightmares for years to come.
Jake Cave, Twins outfielder (⬆ UP)
Perhaps an afterthought after being acquired by Minnesota in March in a minor deal, Cave has firmly put himself on the Twins' radar. This past week Cave had seven hits -- five of which went for extra bases (two doubles, three home runs). On the season he's hitting .263 with a .490 slugging percentage with 10 home runs in 68 games. With Byron Buxton not coming back to the team in 2018, Cave will have plenty of opportunity to state his case for 2019.