MINNEAPOLIS -- Good afternoon, and a happy Thanksgiving to all of you. The Minnesota Vikings practiced on Thanksgiving morning, in a session that was closed to reporters (no complaints here), and according to their injury report, they were still missing four starters as they prepare for the Carolina Panthers. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was out again with the knee and ankle injuries he suffered on Sunday, and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd did not practice again after sitting out last Sunday with a knee injury.
CINCINNATI -- It appears Vontaze Burfict will be out a fourth straight game as the linebacker missed the Cincinnati Bengals' Thanksgiving Day practice. Coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that although Burfict wouldn't practice that day, there was a good chance he would return to practice at some point this week. With their game on the road Sunday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bengals only have one practice left this week: Friday's. If Burfict goes Friday, don't view it as a sign he will be ready for Sunday.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Welcome to AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles with first place in the NFC East on the line. This is just the third time in the regular season the Cowboys and Eagles have met with both teams being at least five games over .500. The Cowboys won the previous two matchups in Week 17 of the 2009 season and Week 16 in 1980. This is the 11th Thanksgiving game that features both teams being five games over .
The drum beat is faint now, but it will grow progressively louder in the coming weeks and months: RG III ... RG III ... RG III. The New York Jets will be looking for a quarterback in the offseason, maybe two, and it appears that Robert Griffin III -- benched this week by the Washington Redskins -- will be available. Let's be clear: Several dominos have to fall before RG III-to-the-Jets can be considered anything more than fantasy-football chatter -- mainly, we don't know who will be calling the shots for the Jets -- but he could fit the profile for their 2015 plan.