On another sweltering day in Eagan, the Minnesota Vikings held their 10th full team practice. By this time a year ago, they had already played three preseason games, but without a chance to take on real opponents this training camp the Vikings have done more realistic intrasquad scrimmaging. No, they’re not tackling, but the offense is attempting to move the ball using realistic sequences of plays, as opposed to normal drills that often repeat similar concepts over and over from the same point on the field.
Hey, we’ll take what we can get.
Tuesday’s practice gave the first-team offense the ball in a 28-28 tie game at the start of the fourth quarter. They marched the field easily, and Alexander Mattison punched in a touchdown run to the right side. After the second-team defense held the second-team offense to a punt, the first-string unit got the ball back and drove inside the 10. One could argue that Irv Smith Jr. would have scored another touchdown, but the in-house officials ruled him down after a catch and run over the middle, so Minnesota settled for a Dan Bailey field goal.
Minnesota will hold another intrasquad scrimmage Friday when the team practices at U.S. Bank Stadium, where fans will not be present for at least the first two games of the regular season. “I’ve always like felt like we’ve got great fans and we hope to get them back,” head coach Mike Zimmer said, “but it is what it is, so we’ll go out and we’ll play and get ready to go.”
Here are the rest of Tuesday’s practice notes:
- Holton Hill had a second straight difficult day in coverage, drawing two penalty flags during the scrimmage.
- Adam Thielen made a nifty lunging grab on Cameron Dantzler during 11-on-11s.
- Danielle Hunter missed his ninth straight practice, but he was the only Vikings player out. Britton Colquitt returned to his full punting responsibilities.
- Mike Zimmer reported that Cameron Smith had successful open-heart surgery Monday in Philadelphia.
- Dakota Dozier continues to get the first look at left guard with Aviante Collins getting occasional reps as well.
- Justin Jefferson has not been seen taking part in special teams drills recently, perhaps an indication that the team expects him to be heavily involved on offense.