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Vikings to open with Packers, host Patriots on Thanksgiving night

The Vikings have played eight previous games on the holiday, five at Detroit and three at Dallas

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shakes hands with Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins following the game at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 2, 2018, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Stew Milne / USA Today Sports
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EAGAN, Minnesota — The Minnesota Vikings opened the 2020 season against Green Bay at home. When they next do so, there will be fans on hand.

The NFL revealed the full schedule on Thursday, and it includes the Vikings beginning the regular season against the Packers on Sept. 11 at 3:25 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium. When the teams played in the opener two years ago, no fans were allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The game will mark the debut of first-year Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell.

Another big game on the schedule has the Vikings playing on Thanksgiving. And it won’t be at Detroit or Dallas.

The Vikings will face the New England Patriots at 7:20 p.m. on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) at U.S. Bank Stadium in a game that will be televised nationally by NBC. It will be the first NFL Thanksgiving game in Minnesota.

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The Vikings have played eight previous games on the holiday, five at Detroit and three at Dallas. Those teams traditionally have hosted Thanksgiving games during the day. The NFL added a third Thanksgiving game in prime time in 2006.

The Vikings last played on Thanksgiving at Detroit in 2017 after also playing there on the holiday in 2016. Before that, their most recent Thanksgiving game was at Dallas in 2000.

New England last played in Minnesota in 2014. O’Connell was selected by the Patriots as a quarterback in the third round of the 2008 draft and played one season with them.

Prior to Thursday, it was announced that the Vikings would play at Philadelphia in Week 2 on Sept. 19 on Monday Night Football and as the road team in Week 4 on Oct. 2 against New Orleans in London.

Due to the game in London, the Vikings will play just seven true road games and will have nine home games during the NFL’s second 17-game season. And, unlike in their trips to London in 2013 and 2017, the Vikings won’t have a bye the week after going overseas. They will play Chicago at home in Week 5 on Oct. 9.

The Vikings, who will play Detroit in Week 3 on Sept. 25 at U.S. Bank Stadium, will have only one true road game in the first five weeks of the season. But they will end up closing the season with two games on the road, Jan. 1 at Green Bay and Jan. 8 at Chicago.

The Vikings long had known their opponents for 2022 before all dates became official on Thursday. Here’s their regular-season schedule:

Sept. 11 Green Bay, 3:25 p.m., Fox

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Sept. 19 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., ABC

Sept. 25 Detroit, noon, Fox

Oct. 2 New Orleans in London, 8:30 a.m., NFL Network

Oct. 9 Chicago, noon, Fox

Oct. 16 at Miami, noon, Fox

Oct. 23 Bye

Oct. 30 Arizona, noon, Fox

Nov. 6 at Washington, noon, Fox

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Nov. 13 at Buffalo, noon, Fox

Nov. 20 Dallas, 3:25 p.m., CBS

Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving) New England, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Dec. 4 New York Jets, noon, CBS

Dec. 11 at Detroit, noon, Fox

Dec. 17/18 Indianapolis, TBD, TBD

Dec. 24 New York Giants, noon, Fox

Jan. 1 at Green Bay, 3:25 p.m., CBS

Jan. 7/8 at Chicago, TBD, TBD

The Vikings’ preseason schedule also was released Thursday, but not any dates. In their first game, the Vikings will play in Las Vegas for the first time against the Raiders. That will be followed by a home game against San Francisco and a game at Denver.

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