Lions practicing on Christmas, Vikings not

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions will practice on Christmas Day. The Minnesota Vikings will not.

These are the two different approaches teams with the same endgame -- the season finale Sunday in the final game at the Metrodome -- are taking this week with the holiday on Wednesday.

Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said Monday the Lions would have practiced Wednesday whether they had beaten the Giants last weekend or not, and receiver Nate Burleson said Tuesday the team’s veterans were not consulted for the decision -- although he had no problem with it.

Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said he spoke with some of his veteran players, and they chose to take their day off Wednesday instead of Tuesday so they could have time with their families.

“Yeah, I am [glad he is getting Christmas off],” Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said. “Get to stay and not worry about getting up in the morning and coming in for practice, spend Christmas with the family.

“So it was a good call. We’re practicing [Tuesday], getting it out of the way, and get to spend Christmas with our people.”

The Lions will, too. Kind of. Schwartz is giving his team Wednesday morning off to be with their families but then holding meetings and practice Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve got enough time to open presents,” Burleson said. “Do we really deserve a day off? You know what I’m saying. We get paid to play football. We’ve got to come in and practice.

“We still want to win this game, coaches still want to win this game, so he gave us some time off in the morning and we’re going to open up some presents with our family and then we’ll come back to work [Wednesday], which is what we should be doing.”

Of course, Minnesota has been out of the playoff picture for weeks. The Lions were eliminated on Sunday.