EAGAN http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/ … nes-jersey , Minn. (AP) For all the heads Mike Hughes has turned in practice with Minnesota since the Vikings picked him in the first round of the draft , they certainly harbored no plan to play him on 79 percent of the snaps on defense in his first real NFL game.Thats what happened in his debut, though, thanks to injuries to two fellow cornerbacks. Hughes had an interception return for a touchdown and a team-leading three pass breakups in Minnesotas 24-16 victory over San Francisco .You can kind of tell the way he carries himself that hes not going to freeze up on the big stage, free safety Harrison Smith said.Production like that provided affirmation of general manager Rick Spielmans decision to ignore needs on the offensive line when Hughes became available with the 30th overall selection.We expect him to go out there and do that, coach Mike Zimmer said. I mean, thats why we drafted him. Everybody was complaining about taking that corner. Im glad we had him.Mackensie Alexanders ankle injury kept him out of the season opener, so Hughes took over as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a position used more often than the weak side linebacker these days and essentially a starting role. Then cornerback Trae Waynes hurt his knee in the second quarter. With Terence Newman now an assistant coach, Hughes was promoted again to the outside opposite Xavier Rhodes.If a player tells you he doesnt get butterflies before a game, hes lying. I think its natural, Hughes said. After the first play, I was good. I settled in and went through my calls and played within the scheme.Though all five 49ers kickoffs went for touchbacks, depriving Hughes of any return opportunities, he played the gunner spot on the coverage team and caught a punt to down the ball at the 4-yard line in the first quarter. His time covering kicks was reduced after his defensive responsibility increased, but special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has lauded his ability since he arrived.Theres a drive in there that you can see. Ive been around a lot of young people, and I think hes one of the guys that really understands what he needs to do to get better, Priefer said. He knows he hasnt arrived yet T.J. Hockenson Jersey , even though he was a first-round draft pick. I love his attitude, I love his effort, and hes improving every day.Hughes made some mistakes, of course, on a handful of long gains by the 49ers. He has a lot to learn yet about the game. His attention to detail, however, has stood out to Vikings coaches and players since organized practices began in the spring. So has his athleticism, confidence and instincts. Thats atypical for a rookie.Honestly, he plays like hes been in the league before, Rhodes said, and I think years down the road hes going to be one of the best.Hughes wasnt the only inexperienced player thrust into unexpected action for the Vikings, who despite their status as Super Bowl contender have the NFCs youngest squad with an average age of 25.47 years on the opening roster.Backup safety Jayron Kearse replaced Hughes at the nickel back spot. Though hes been a valuable special teams players over his first two years, Kearses only career start as a rookie in 2016 at Chicago was best remembered for a 69-yard run by Bears running back Jordan Howard aided by an awkward overplay by Kearse as he approached in tackling position.It was something you couldnt look past, Kearse said, but now I had another opportunity and I just wanted to show Im not the same player I was.The Vikings play at Green Bay on Sunday, when the secondary will have to be as sharp as ever if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays on his sprained knee . Hughes and Kearse, at least, will be one game better for it.Showing that I can get in and cover a slot Justice Hill Jersey , showing that I can get in and cover a tight end, Kearse said, that was big for me to show the coaches that I can be more than just a special teams player. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Andrew Luck is a win away from putting the Indianapolis Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 while doing something no NFL quarterback has managed since at least 1970.Beat an opponent 11 straight games.Luck has won his first 10 games against the Tennessee Titans, matching Hall of Famer John Elway, who went 10-0 against the Patriots. Another victory Sunday night would leave Luck all alone in dominating another team with an AFC wild-card berth at worst for the Colts (9-6).Article continues below ...Not that Luck is counting on past success, especially after the Colts needed a late TD to edge the Giants 28-27 for their eighth victory in nine weeks.What happened previously and what happened in previous years, it doesnt matter, Luck said. What happened last weekend does not matter. Its a new cycle.Tennessee safety Kevin Byard refuses to ponder why Luck has tormented the Titans so. The Titans are 2-3 against the Colts in Byards three seasons Luck missed 2017 with a shoulder injury and four straight wins have Tennessee (9-6) a win away from a second straight postseason berth.By kickoff, theyll all know exactly whats at stake. The AFC South title will be up for grabs if Houston loses to Jacksonville. Even crazier for the Titans, a No. 2 seed with a first-round bye would be available if the Texans, Patriots and Ravens all lose. Thats more than enough to keep the Titans focused.Were just blessed to be in this position to be playing for a playoff game, so thats all the motivation that guys need, Byard said. Theyll be motivated, well be motivated. Itll be a fun game.Some things to know about the final game of the NFLs regular season:MARIOTAS STATUSThe Titans may not know if quarterback Marcus Mariota will play against the Colts. Mariota was knocked out of the Titans 25-16 victory over Washington last weekend with a stinger the same injury that kept him out of a 38-10 loss Nov. 18 in Indianapolis. Mariota is optimistic hell play instead of backup Blaine Gabbert.This is what its about, Mariota said. Youre playing for everything. Im doing everything I can day and night, and just trying to make sure that I can be ready.ONE-SIDEDThis division rivalry has been one of the most lopsided in football over the past 15 years.Since losing three straight against the Titans from 2000-02, Indianapolis is 25-6. While the Titans often came up short against University of Tennessee grad Peyton Manning http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/ben-po … rsey-cheap , they have been even worse against Luck. Its not just Luck and Manning who have been problematic for the Titans. Matt Hasselbeck and Dan Orlovsky, now both ESPN commentators, also beat the Titans in backup roles. Hasselbeck also played for the Titans from 2011-12.MISSING PIECESThe Titans will be without a pair of defensive starters. Four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (left knee) was placed on injured reserve Monday , a week after cornerback Logan Ryan went on IR with a broken left leg. If starting linebacker Brian Orakpo misses a third straight game with an elbow injury, that would be a big hit for the NFLs No. 2 scoring defense.Tennessee defensive coordinator Dean Pees will be available for a unit that has allowed two offensive TDs over the past four games. Pees missed most of the first game against the Colts after being taken to an Indianapolis hospital, where he spent the night.The Colts are banged-up as well, waiting for tight end Eric Ebron to clear concussion protocol, while center Ryan Kelly has an injured neck.DEFENDING HENRYOne difference from the last game between these teams is Derrick Henry. The Titans running back leads the NFL with 532 yards rushing and eight TD runs in December, though he had nine carries for 46 yards against the Colts in November.Hes as good as advertised, Colts linebacker Anthony Walker said. Hes big, hes explosive, and when he gets outside hes a problem in the open field. Definitely, have to get him before he gets going.ONE FOR THE AGESAdam Vinatieri has been achieving new feats all season and can add a couple more just three days after celebrating his 46th birthday.If the leagues oldest active player and NFLs new career scoring leader simply appears Sunday, he would break a tie with Jeff Feagles (352) for the third-most games played in NFL history and become only the fourth player to participate in a game at 46. The others are George Blanda (48), Morten Andersen (47) and John Carney (46).And he may not be finished yet.Vinatieri signed a one-year contract in March to stay with the Colts and has expressed interest in continuing to play in Indy next season.