Vikes Lose Final Preseason Game, Getting Ready for Opener
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jakeem Grant caught four passes for 141 yards and a touchdown and the Miami Dolphins wrapped up the preseason with a 30-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
David Fales completed 9 of 15 passes for 139 yards and two scores, including a 65-yarder to Grant , a second-year receiver that coach Adam Gase has been trying to get more involved in the Dolphins offense.
Cayleb Jones had nine catches for 127 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota, which finished the preseason 2-2. Taylor Heinicke threw a touchdown, but was underwhelming in his two quarters of play before he was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Both teams rested almost all of their regular starters with the first game of the regular season just a week away. That included Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, who came out of retirement earlier this month to replace the injured Ryan Tannehill.
Kenyan Drake ran for a touchdown and Fales also threw a 6-yard TD to former University of Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray to help the Dolphins finish 2-2 on the preseason.
Gase moved Grant from slot receiver to outside this summer, hoping it would give the former Texas Tech Red Raider more opportunities. He had plenty of them on Thursday night, catching a 28-yard pass early in the first quarter to get going, drawing a pass interference near the end zone to set up Drake's 1-yard plunge .
In the second quarter, he got behind defensive backs Jayron Kearse and Sam Brown and hauled in a perfectly thrown deep ball from Fales to put Miami up 14-0.
Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander had an unimpressive rookie season last year after being taken in the second round out of Clemson.
After Minnesota's defense was torched by Grant for the entire first half, Alexander was broke up a pass headed his way in the end zone late in the second quarter. But then he got right in Grant's face and let him know about it, earning a taunting penalty that gave the Dolphins a first down. Coach Mike Zimmer gave his cornerback an earful on the sideline and Fales hit Gray on the next play.
Former University of Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner was working for Bite Squad — a local service that delivers restaurant food to homes and businesses in the Twin Cities — when the Vikings called him last week. With no need to play starter Sam Bradford or backup Case Keenum in the finale, the Vikings were in need of another quarterback to play with Heinicke.
Leidner entered in the third quarter to a nice ovation and went 14 for 19 for 129 yards.
Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf announced that the family and the team are donating $300,000 toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Vikings are donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross and the Wilf family is donation $200,000, half of which will go to the Red Cross and half to the Jewish Federations of North America Harvey relief fund.
The Vikings also ran an in-game video featuring players Texas natives Brian Robison, Danielle Hunter and Case Keenum that encouraged fans to donate to the cause.
Vikings: Open at home on Sept. 11 against New Orleans and longtime Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson.