Vikings, Texans following similar paths into showdown (The Associated Press)

For every football fan who has ever started a season predicting their favorite team will “be pretty good, if they stay healthy,” the 2016 versions of the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings stand as reasons to throw that logic out the window. When the Vikings (4-0) host the Texans (3-1) on Sunday afternoon — in the first day game played inside Minnesota’s sparkling new U.S. Bank Stadium — it will showcase a pair of rosters that look much different than the ones that took to the practice field a month ago. The concept of “next man up” has been tested repeatedly in both Houston and Minnesota early on, with Texans star defender J.J. Watt out of the lineup for the season with a back injury, while the Vikings lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and star running back Adrian Peterson — both most likely for the season — before the end of Week 2.