Rain forced the Minnesota Vikings inside for Wednesday’s organized team activity, giving them a chance to break in their indoor facility with the first full practice on the new turf field.
All 90 players were present, including linebacker Anthony Barr, who was absent last week after not completing a contract extension. Barr is entering the final year of his rookie deal.
“I was hoping to get something done before OTAs,” he told reporters Wednesday. “That didn’t happen, so I protected myself, got an injury insurance policy, and that took about a week to get situated. I got that; now I’m good to go.”
Barr is set to make over $12 million this season. While his current base salary would be guaranteed for injury, his potential earnings in a new contract could guarantee over three times that number — plenty of incentive for Barr to acquire the policy.
In terms of a contract extension, Barr says it is still in the works.
“My agent’s doing a great job. I think they’re having conversations. I don’t know too many details on that. My focus is here with the team,” he said.
Carlson vs Forbath
Daniel Carlson won Wednesday’s round of kicking competition, making 5 of 5 kicks ranging between 37 and 53 yards, including a 46-yard field goal in a hurry-up drill. Forbath missed his 46-yard kick, as well as a 42-yarder earlier, giving him a 3-for-5 mark on the day.
“We’ve been charting these guys for the last few weeks, competing against each other,” special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. “We try to put them in competitive situations as much as we can to get them ready for the preseason games.”
Carlson also outperformed Forbath at last Wednesday’s practice, which was open to the media. Head coach Mike Zimmer hinted then that the Vikings may enter the preseason with only one kicker.
“If one guy is way ahead of the other guy then we might make the change sooner, so the other guy gets all the reps,” Zimmer said.
There were six players at Wednesday’s practice who did not participate: WR Stacy Coley, RB Roc Thomas, S Andrew Sendejo, C Pat Elflein, WR Jeff Badet and DE Everson Griffen.
Coley hurt his right leg at last Wednesday’s practice, which may still be lingering. It’s the second straight year he’s dealt with an offseason leg injury.
Griffen was wearing a wrap on his left knee. Zimmer said last week that he “tweaked” something earlier in the offseason.
Elflein and Badet are both recovering from ankle injuries.
Sendejo and Thomas’s injuries are undisclosed.
RB Dalvin Cook, S Tray Matthews, TE Tyler Conklin and LB Devante Downs went through individual drills with helmets on but then left to field to rehab. Cook and Downs are rehabbing from knee injuries, while the nature of Matthews’ and Conklin’s injuries is unknown.
Kyle Rudolph (ankle) appeared to be a full participant, as did Laquon Treadwell, who was working on the rehab field last Wednesday.
The offensive line took on a slightly new look Wednesday with Mike Remmers playing at right guard after slotting in at right tackle the week prior. Rashod Hill moved up to play first-team right tackle with Tom Compton and Danny Isidora taking turns at left guard. Nick Easton played first-team center, while Riley Reiff manned his usual left tackle spot.
Second-round pick Brian O’Neill got work with the second team at right tackle.
Other noteworthy personnel observations:
- Mack Brown took second-team reps at running back with Cook and Thomas both sitting out.
- Mike Hughes continued to get work at the nickel corner spot, though Mackensie Alexander took most of the first-team reps.
- Stephen Weatherly got some first-team reps with Griffen sitting out of practice.
- Anthony Harris got first-team reps at safety with Sendejo out.
- Ifeadi Odenigbo continued to get work inside on the defensive line.