MIKE O'HARA

O'Hara's Final Thoughts: Eliminate Vikings' GM from "anonymous" candidates; all eyes on Reiff today

Posted Nov 11, 2012

Eliminate Vikings GM Rick Spielman as a possible candidate as the unknown GM who ripped Lions center Dominic Raiola in a scathing item that appeared on Pro Football Weekly’s website.

MINNEAPOLIS – Riley Reiff is getting more mention than most rookies who aren’t starting, but it’s for good reason.

Reiff’s presence as an extra blocker for the Lions will be watched closely in today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Reiff was drafted on the first round to be a starting tackle of the future, but he’s a key run-blocker of the present, and it showed up in last week’s 31-14 victory at Jacksonville. Reiff played a season-high 33 snaps, and the Lions rushed for 149 yards, their highest total of the season.

The Vikings have not played well against the run in the last month, and that is reflected in a 1-3 record that has dropped them to 5-4 and in third place in the NFC North.

In the first meeting with the Vikings – a 20-13 loss at Ford Field in Game 4 – the Lions gained only 55 yards on the ground. The tailbacks accounted for only 28 of those yards, on 14 carries. The rest were on scrambles by Matthew Stafford and running plays for wide receivers.

“Known” GM: Eliminate Vikings GM Rick Spielman as a possible candidate as the unknown GM who ripped Lions center Dominic Raiola in a scathing item that appeared on Pro Football Weekly’s website.

Spielman has close ties to the Lions. He was one of the last linebackers cut in training camp in 1988, and he was a Lions scout from 1990-96 before moving on.

Spielman answered directly when asked Sunday if he is the source of the comments.

“No, no, no – absolutely,” Spielman said. “If I have something to say, I’ll put my name on it.”

This reporter’s opinion: I never thought it was Rick Spielman. He and his brother, Chris, never have been shy about sharing their opinions – on the record.

PH factor: Vikings receiver Percy Harvin was designated as inactive when the official list was announced 90 minutes before kickoff. Harvin injured his left ankle in last week’s loss at Seattle.

Losing Harvin is a major blow to the Vikings. He is their leading receiver and one of the NFL’s top playmakers. The Lions held him in check as a receiver in their first meeting, but he got the Vikings started on the way to a victory by returning the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown.

They went to Jared: No, the Vikings aren’t shopping for jewelry. Jared Allen is a pass-rushing gem, and he’s had big games against the Lions. It wouldn’t be surprising if Reiff lines up across from Allen to add blocking help against the star defensive end.

Allen was credited with a sack and seven quarterback hits. The official box score also gave him three tackles for loss.