Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first two days of Vikings training camp have been great and all, but the real fun starts with today’s afternoon practice when the players put the full pads on for the first time. Competitions in camp will now turn into battles and the coaching staff should get a better idea of what groups of players they feel can lead this team to success in 2016.

As was the case for the last two days, we will have the latest updates from the team’s practice as they happen live.

Enjoy!


2:35pm – The young Vikings wide receivers have usually been some of the first players to hit the practice field in the afternoon. That trend continued today.

2:45pm – Practice is officially underway and some notable players look like they will not be participating in today’s padded activities. Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Mike Harris among the players not in pads this afternoon. Looks like the team is continuing to be cautious with Peterson. Interested to see how Jerick McKinnon plays in today’s practice with the absence of Peterson.

3:00pm – And the most awkward jersey of Vikings training camp goes to…

3:10pm – Adam Thielen getting some work in with the first team as a slot receiver. Wonder if this has anything to do with Patterson being injured? However, speaking in terms of 3-WR sets for the season, a combination of Charles Johnson and Laquon Treadwell on the outsides with Stefon Diggs on the inside could be a dangerous combination for this offense.

3:15pm – Definitely seems like the intensity in the way the offensive line practices has stepped up this year. Much of that can be attributed to the Vikings new offensive line coach Tony Sparano. It would be quite a surprise if the team’s offensive line does not improve from a season ago. 

3:20pm – Speaking of new assistant coaches, Pat Shurmur was brought in to be Minnesota’s new tight ends coach this offseason. Being that he is a former head coach and offensive coordinator, will his role on the staff be limited to just the tight ends in 2016? 

3:25pm – My pick for the Vikings illustrious ‘Mr. Mankato’ award, rookie tight end David Morgan has been turning heads with his receiving abilities. With Rhett Ellison currently injured and unable to practice, Morgan has a great opportunity to shine in front of the Vikings coaches right now. 

3:30pm – And then there is Minnesota’s current backup quarterback situation… 

3:35pm – McKinnon, McKinnon, McKinnon, McKinnon, McKinnon, McKinnon! FREE MCKINNON!

3:40pm – With the pads being put on today, it was known that practice would be way more physical. The receivers are already experiencing that first hand. They have had a pretty easy time getting open during the first two days of practice, but now that the pads are on the defensive backs are able to be more physical. More of an equal battle between the two sides today than in the past two days.

3:55pm – Vikings now going through 11-on-11s. As stated before, the results should be different from days past given that the defense can actually use their physicality on the field today with everyone now in pads.

4:05pm – The defensive line could very well be the biggest strength for Minnesota heading into the season. The veteran leadership of Brian Robison and Everson Griffen combined with the beastly abilities of Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter could give opposing quarterbacks nightmare all year long.

4:10pm – Minnesota’s defense seems to be playing much better in today’s practice with the addition of pads. Mike Zimmer and the rest of the Vikings defensive staff should be able to sleep a little more soundly tonight after the unit’s improvement on the field today.

4:20pm – Second-year cornerback Trae Waynes is hoping to become a starter on this defense for Week 1. A solid camp by him could make it hard for Minnesota’s staff to do just that.

4:35pm – Team is back to 11-on-11s now and the defense is still impressive. They have a chance to be something special this season if everyone can remain healthy.

4:40pm – Rookie struggles have definitely been showing up for cornerback Mackensie Alexander. Before camp began, some thought he could challenge Captain Munnerlyn as the Vikings nickel corner. Right now, Munnerlyn’s job seems pretty safe. 

4:50pm – Minnesota can pay him all the money in the world, but it seems to be the same old story with offensive tackle Matt Kalil. Could be his last season with the Vikings if he does not show a significant improvement in 2016.

5:00pm – Practice is coming to and end and the offensive and defensive lines are now facing off against each other in 1-on-1 battles. Seems as though the offensive lineman have more success in these situations than when they are lined up in 11-on-11s.

5:05pm – Kicker Blair Walsh finishing off practice with a couple field goal kicks. He made them all today, but all eyes will be on the Vikings young kicker this season to see if he can rebound from his missed kick in last year’s playoffs.

This concludes our coverage of Vikings training camp for today. Come back tomorrow for MORE!