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Vikings could play Lions on Thanksgiving Day

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings made their return to the playoffs last month for the first time since the 2012 season. They could be heading to Detroit later this year to end a longer absence from a prominent NFL event.

According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, television executives expect the NFL to schedule a Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Vikings and Detroit Lions. The game would mark the Vikings' first Thanksgiving appearance since the 2000 season, when they beat the Dallas Cowboys for the second time in three years on Thanksgiving Day.

We also heard this morning that the Vikings could be headed to Detroit on Thanksgiving, and that could mean they will end the season with the Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium, assuming the NFL keeps its Week 17 rotation of intra-division matchups. The Vikings finished the 2010 and 2013 seasons with games against the Lions, and played the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers the past two seasons. The league's typical rotation would have had the Vikings ending the year in Detroit, but assuming the Vikings travel to Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day, they could get their second straight Week 17 home game against the Lions as part of the league's rotation. Since the Bears and Packers have both played on two of the past three Thanksgivings, the Vikings would be the logical choice for a NFC North matchup on Thanksgiving Day.

The league's full schedule isn't released until April, but according to the Sports Business Journal report, the Dallas Cowboys could play host to the Washington Redskins, with the Vikings-Lions game moving to CBS. And if the league does what it did last year, scheduling back-to-back Thursday games for teams that played on Thanksgiving Day, the Vikings could travel to Washington the following Thursday, or play the Cowboys at home.