Training Camp

Vikings Training Camp Diary: July 31

The most important notes and key takeaways from Wednesday's training camp practice.

Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Diary! Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Vikings’ training camp practice on July 31 in an easy-to-read bullet form.

Injury updates

  • DT Curtis Cothran (undisclosed) was not in pads for the second straight practice
  • WR Jeff Badet (undisclosed) was in pads for the first time today – he had missed the last 4 practices
  • DE Stephen Weatherly (undisclosed) left practice early with an unknown injury
  • TE David Morgan (knee) did rehab work with trainers for the first time in camp. He remains on the PUP/NFI list along with DT Shamar Stephen (undisclosed), DE Tashawn Bower (achilles), and CB Mike Hughes (knee)

Notables

  • The offense had their way with the defense during the red zone period today
  • QB Kirk Cousins threw four touchdowns during the session, displaying his accuracy and ability to put touch on the ball when needed – Cousins is having a solid camp so far
  • WR Bisi Johnson stood out during 1-on-1’s and red zone drills – he still has the occasional teaching moment but Johnson ran crisp routes and was able to make contended catches in tight areas when there wasn’t much room to gain separation from the defender. Between his route-running abilities, consistent hands, special teams opportunities and his ability to make catches in traffic, Johnson appears to be separating himself from the pack when it comes to the young WR’s in camp
  • Jayron Kearse had perhaps his best day of camp so far. The practice began with coaches praising his special teams abilities as they told the young guys to watch “Jay-Jay.” As far as how he’s performed at corner, he’s looking both physical and confident in coverage and I’d expect to see an increase in snaps this season as Kearse’s role with the defense continues to grow
    • Interesting side note: Pro Football Focus now lists Kearse as a CB. The majority of his snaps last season were at Slot Corner, which bodes well for the Vikings’ depth issues at CB
  • DE Everson Griffen was flying off the line with intensity on Wednesday and was giving Riley Reiff fits with his pass rush (Reiff held his own). All reports have confirmed that he’s back to his old self, which means great things for the Vikings defense. After all, Mike Zimmer referred to Griffen as the “heartbeat” of the defense
  • As previously noted, the left side of the offensive line looked strong Wednesday.
    • Garrett Bradbury was sharp in team drills and one thing I noticed Wednesday is he is active on his feet. He gets to the second level consistently when run blocking and he actively seeks out someone to block in pass protection. He’ll get handled at times in 1-on-1 drills, but the goal of the OL in this offense is to outmaneuver defenders, not overpower them. The Vikings have to happy with their first-round pick so far
    • Reiff admirably battled Griffen and while he was not quite able to subdue him, if this were a real game I’d say he kept the damage to a minimum
    • Pat Elflein looked strong, particularly in protection (which surprised this writer). The whole OL unit seems to be gelling under the guidance of offensive line coach Rick Dennison

Punt teams developing

Highlights

  • Cousins and Adam Thielen are starting to make things look easy in camp, so hopefully their budding rapport transitions smoothly into the regular season

  • Your daily Tyler Conklin highlight. Conklin is having one of the best camps of any player thus far and could be seeing TE2 reps while Irv Smith Jr. gets acclimated to the offense and while Morgan recovers from offseason knee surgery

  • TE1, Kyle Rudolph, had a great day receiving. He caught multiple TD’s during the red zone and situational periods, including this gem from Cousins. He’s been consistently getting open in the middle of the field on “bailout” routes and Cousin has found him on a number of occasions. He could have a big year in this offense

  • WR Chad Beebe had a few nice catches in the red zone portion of practice. Here’s a nifty TD from QB Kyle Sloter while being defended by CB Kris Boyd

  • Follow me on Twitter @SeanBormanNFL for Vikings information, including live updates from Training Camp in Eagan and check out the previous reports from Training Camp 2019:

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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