Notebook: Vikings take 6-game road losing streak to Lambeau Field
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- It's been six games and roughly 11½ months since the Minnesota Vikings won a road game.
The losing skid has gone through Arizona to Carolina to Chicago to New Orleans (twice) to New York. On Sunday night, it'll go back to the site of the Vikings' last road win -- Lambeau Field, where they beat the Green Bay Packers 38-26 last Nov. 1.
"You've got to love the road," coach Brad Childress said on Monday. "You've got to love going on the road and banding up all together. The only people that are with you are the people that are traveling with you and getting out on that field. It's a great feeling to go somewhere and make people sit on their hands."
The streak in no way rivals that of the Detroit Lions, whose 24th consecutive loss away from Ford Field on Sunday tied their own record for road futility. But it's been a frustrating stretch nonetheless.
It started Dec. 6 against the Cardinals, who won 30-17 on a night Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson shattered a femur and was lost for the season. Two weeks later, there was the 26-7 thrashing against the Panthers in which Childress tried to bench quarterback Brett Favre and was rebuffed.
The Vikings rallied from a 16-point deficit on Dec. 28 against the Bears before falling 36-30 in overtime. Then came the 31-28 NFC championship loss to the Saints, a 14-9 defeat in September's season-opening rematch and last week's 29-20 loss to the New York Jets.
Favre's combined passing line in those games is serviceable -- 130-of-219 passing (59.4%), 1,565 yards, nine touchdowns, seven interceptions -- but the Vikings are only 4-7 (including playoffs) on the road with him under center, compared to 11-1 at the Metrodome.
Couple that with Favre's history with Green Bay and the Vikings' offensive struggles so far, and there's no question they're in for a supreme challenge on Sunday night, the Packers' mounting injuries notwithstanding.
"I'm a little bit reluctant to say I'm excited about going back to Green Bay," Favre said. "It's a challenge that hopefully we live up to."
There will be no reprieve if the slide reaches seven games in Green Bay. The Vikings play the New England Patriots one week later at Gillette Stadium.
Percy Harvin's impact in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys went beyond the 95-yard kick-return touchdown that changed the game on the first play of the second half.
The second-year receiver also saw action as a tailback, gaining 18 yards on two carries, and Childress indicated giving Harvin a look on punt returns is the next logical step.
"We're just trying to put the ball in his hands here and get as many touches as we can," Childress said.
Harvin's three receptions for 21 yards were his lowest totals since he had one for 12 in the opener.
The Cowboys were trailing by three and out of timeouts on Sunday when Favre threw incomplete on a back-shoulder fade to Greg Lewis on third-and-6 with 2 minutes, 22 seconds remaining.
If cornerback Mike Jenkins hadn't been flagged for pass interference, the incompletion would have made given possession back to Dallas on a punt before the 2-minute warning, rather than after.
"It's a pretty safe throw," Childress said. "(Favre) was going to put it where we want to put it for Greg. But yeah, that's a guts-ball decision.
"Could you run it? Yeah, we could've run it and taken it down to the 2-minute warning, without a doubt. But we wanted to get the first down, and we got the first down. Doesn't make any difference whether it was by penalty or by throwing."
Lewis was the only receiver on the field because the Vikings were in their three-tight end "trio" package that he'd played in all day.
Childress wasn't sure when strong safety Husain Abdullah sustained the concussion that knocked him out of Sunday's game in the first quarter.
"The trainer went through it with him (Monday) morning," Childress said. "We typically look at the film -- usually you can see those things. He was in for two or three plays, he kind of had an idea (he was concussed) but wasn't completely sure, which is pretty much the way it is with a concussion."
Jamarca Sanford finished the game in Abdullah's place. It's unclear what the timeline will be for Abdullah to pass tests and be cleared to practice.
Childress wouldn't speculate on the status of center John Sullivan, who suited up but didn't play on Sunday because of a calf injury.
• Childress said he was pleased with C Jon Cooper's performance in his first NFL start, even though Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff "gave him fits" from the opening snap. "He did a great job with the line calls and extremely competitive in there," Childress said. "I like what he did getting the promotion with that starting job."
• Favre is scheduled to meet with NFL security on Tuesday as part of the league's ongoing investigation into allegations of sexually charged misconduct during the quarterback's time with the New York Jets in 2008. Asked what role the Viking will play in the meeting, Childress said, "None, to my knowledge. That's not our responsibility."
• After watching the tape, Childress felt Favre "had a pretty decent command of the football" six days after fighting his accuracy in a loss to the Jets. He finished 14-of-19 passing for 118 yards, a touchdown and a 106.9 passer rating. His longest completion was 20 yards.