Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Despite a slight scare in yesterday’s practice, Adrian Peterson says he’s doing just fine.

Peterson left practice yesterday after being stopped on a run play. Slow to get up initially, he did return to the field for one play before retreating to the locker room with medical staff.

“He got tangled up,” Jerick McKinnon said. “A defender fell on him, but he said he was all right. Everybody knows Adrian’s got a cape on. He’ll be back out here. I don’t think anybody’s worried about him.”

Peterson was later reported as having a thigh injury that wasn’t considered to be serious.

Today, head coach Mike Zimmer told media that he has “a little bruise” and although Peterson is being cautious at camp, it’s nothing to be concerned about.

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The Vikings announced Wednesday afternoon that they have reached an agreement with Minnesota State University, Mankato to hold training camp on campus for at least another three years.

It seems appropriate that the extension would come about in the 50th anniversary of holding camp in Mankato.

“It’s been wonderful to celebrate 50 years of Vikings training camp on our campus this summer,” said the University’s president, Dr. Richard Davenport. “We look forward to the Vikings being here during the University’s 150th year anniversary celebration.”

Minnesota State University original began as Mankato Normal School in 1868. The school changed its name to Mankato State University in 1975, and in 1995 it took on its current namesake when the seven state universities were transferred to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system by the state legislature.

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(used w/permission)

I’m a fan of underdog stories.

I’m a fan of hometown heroes.

I’m a fan of hard workers.

I’m a fan of good athletes.

Third-year wide receiver Adam Thielen fits all of the above in my book. I was intrigued by Thielen when the Vikings signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2013, but I really didn’t know that much about him. That year he didn’t make the final cut, but Minnesota signed him to the practice squad. From there, he’s slowly but surely worked his way onto the radar.

I attended training camp in August 2014, and I liked what I saw from Thielen. After interviewing him after a practice, I wrote a feature on the receiver for VT. The following is an excerpt from last year’s post:

Thielen entered his second year ready to make an impression, and he certainly has. His explosiveness, agility and reception accuracy spoke for itself on the practice field, but the receiver stepped onto TCF Field and proved he is ready for the real stuff.

That spotlight came after special teams coach Mike Priefer utilized Thielen on three punt returns in the Vikings’ first 2014 preseason game.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Heading into the offseason, one of my biggest concerns surrounding the Vikings was the depth at linebacker. Anthony Barr missed the final four games of the year after undergoing surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus, and veteran linebacker Chad Greenway wrapped up his worst statistical season since entering the league in 2007.  And at middle linebacker, Jasper Brinkley finished the year with 54 tackles, but left a gaping hole in the defense after signing a free agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys.

As Brent pointed out last week, though, this roster is loaded with young talent at the position, from freak athletes like Anthony Barr to late-round picks like Audie Cole. General manager Rick Spielman isn’t just drafting college’s best linebackers (see Eric Kendricks), he’s letting the coaching staff develop a few lesser-known players.

Seventh-round pick Edmond Robinson has the size and raw tools to contribute for the Vikings in the future, but will have time to grow as he sits behind Brandon Watts, Josh Kaddu, and Brian Peters. In Sunday’s game, both Watts and Peters played well against Pittsburgh’s backups, with Peters flashing his open field skills on a fumble recovery in the third quarter.

If anything, the biggest gap remains in the middle of Mike Zimmer’s unit. The players mentioned above are going to shine during the preseason, as it’s their best chance to step foot on the field and show the coaches what — special teams depth, a practice squad spot — they can bring to the team. But three in particular appear to be fighting for a chance to man the middle of the defense: Audie Cole, Eric Kendricks, and Gerald Hodges.

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