Vikings coach O’Connell ready for Packers week: ‘Big week for our team’

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After the grind of training camp and the preseason, the regular season is here. The Vikings play the Packers in Week 1 in six days.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell met with reporters Monday in Eagan to preview the week and to announce who the team’s eight captains are – league rules stipulate a team can have a max of eight.

***Click the video box above to watch O’Connell’s Monday news conference***

The captains are quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook, receiver Adam Thielen, fullback C.J. Ham (special teams), linebacker Eric Kendricks, tackle Brian O’Neill, cornerback Patrick Peterson, and safety Harrison Smith. O’Connell noted that 20 players total received votes.

O’Connell when asked about the Vikings-Packers rivalry: “I can just tell you turning on the tape that there’s a level of physicality there. It seems to be. I think back to the games in Minnesota, it’s back-and-forth all the way through the end of the game. I’m hoping our group is prepared, feels like they can go out there and play fast, feel like they can go execute. We know there’s a good chance that this game is going to come down to the very end.

I’ve got a ton of respect for so many players on their roster, like I said, the coaches. We’ve got to have a good showing. We’ve got to be prepared and ready to roll with a really good team coming in like the Green Bay Packers. I know that. I know with any rivalry game it comes down a lot of times to the little things, the execution, the detail and sometimes the emotion of it, you don’t want to let it get the best of you or your team. It comes down to how you’re going to win the football game, how you think and what you think it’s going to take to win the football game. We’ll work through that this week.”

On the injury front, tight end Irv Smith Jr. said he’s good to go. He missed the preseason with a thumb injury.