• Vikings receiver Adam Thielen on the benefits of having running back Dalvin Cook back for 2018: “We have three guys, four guys in that running back room who can carry the ball extremely well. But he’s a dynamic player and he’s only going to help this offense. We’re expecting big things from him.”
• The 49ers have an edge in the size of their defensive line, averaging 295.5 pounds per player with both DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead standing 6-7. The Vikings average 287.3 pounds and their tallest starter is Danielle Hunter at 6-5. “A lot of size,” Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said. “Not only size but speed up front.” Also, Pro Football Focus ranked the Vikings offensive line 28th in the NFL.
• Vikings executive Lester Bagley on tickets at U.S. Bank Stadium: “We do have single-game tickets, affordable tickets. That was part of the legislation for the new stadium and there are a handful of tickets that are available for every game.”
• With Eric Decker’s retirement, former Gophers in the NFL include Briean Boddy-Calhoun with Cleveland, De’Vondre Campbell with Atlanta, Eric Murray with Kansas City, Marcus Sherels with the Vikings, Maxx Williams with Baltimore, Damien Wilson with Dallas and MarQueis Gray with Miami, though he is on injured reserve. Tramaine Brock, who began his college career with the Gophers, is with Denver after playing for the Vikings in 2017. Three former Gophers are on practice squads: Jalen Myrick with the Vikings, Steven Richardson with the L.A. Chargers and Nate Wozniak with New Orleans.
• Bob Gelle, a four-sport standout for the Gophers who was a coach and/or athletic director at St. Olaf from 1957 to 1989, died Aug. 3 at 87. Gelle was one of the best athletes I ever saw. We drafted him with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953, but he went into the military before becoming a coach.