4 Takeaways from the Vikings Final Day of Training Camp

Mike Zimmer

The Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos will butt heads [again] on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium during both teams’ first preseason game since 2019.

Before that, though, Minnesota and Denver scrimmaged one more day at the Vikings practice facility in Eagan on Thursday.

Here are the four notable takeaways from the Vikings last day of training camp.

1. Week 1 Action for Darrisaw a Longshot

Vikings doctors assert that Darrisaw should be available for Week 1 at the Cincinnati Bengals. But Mike Zimmer is skeptical.

He thought Darrisaw was good to go. And perhaps this development – his core muscle injury – is why the Virginia Tech alumnus slid to Minnesota with the 23rd overall pick. In many mock drafts, Darrisaw was a Top 15 selection.

Regardless, Darrisaw will be the Vikings left tackle of the future – at some point. We just don’t know if that will be early in September. If not, Rashod Hill is the next man up, and he’s played for the Vikings since 2016. Hill knows the team and culture.

Week 1 without Darrisaw is a bit dismaying because he was the sure-fire LT1 when folks speculated the 2021 depth chart. It now feels like a longshot that Darrisaw will be ready for the job until later in 2021. His body might be healthy within five weeks, but he still must learn the Vikings offense.

2. Mond Mum on Vaccine

In the grand scheme of “will he or won’t he” get the vaccine, the temperature in America is a collective who cares because folks are so dug in with the debate. Therefore, this article is not chiding Mond.

The tricky part is the company Mond keeps. Kirk Cousins – famously unvaccinated and unwavering about it – is a part of the quarterback room (that will be spacious, according to Cousins’ demands).

On the Vikings depth chart, two unvaccinated quarterbacks exist, Cousins and Mond. If a mini-outbreak occurs with COVID, both men would presumably be quarantined, just like they were two weeks ago.

Insert Jake Browning.

He’s a proponent of the vaccination and will be the starting quarterback for the Vikings if COVID hits the QB room. That’s substantial news. There is a very good chance that COVID does not affect Minnesota at all this season, but we now know that the two most exciting throwers of the football would enter the quarantine protocol if the virus affects the Vikings.

3. Kris Boyd Looks the Part vs. DEN

The 24-year-old Boyd is a member of crowded dealings on the Vikings CB portion of the depth chart. Thankfully for his sake, he looked good on the final day of training camp:

Clamping Jeudy is not easy, so the Boyd optimism is meaningful. He’ll make the cut for the 53-man roster, but his outlook for playing time is touch-and-go per this Vikings unofficial depth chart:

CB1: Patrick Peterson
CB2: Bashaud Breeland
CB3: Mackensie Alexander
CB4: Cameron Dantzler
CB5: Harrison Hand
CB6: Kris Boyd
CB7: Dylan Mabin
CB8: Tye Smith
CB9: Parry Nickerson
CB10: Amari Henderson

It is unlikely that those top four names stay wholly healthy for all of 2021. A serviceable Boyd creates depth and an inroad for him to see action throughout the season.

Last year at this time, the Vikings planned on the Hughes-Gladney-Dantzler show at cornerback. Now, the grouping is dripping with talent. And a productive Boyd enhances the secondary.

4. The End of Camp

The preseason starts Saturday, ending the Vikings training camp in Eagan.

What a ride. Kellen Mond thrilled fans in the first couple of days with missiles to rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Cousins, by happenstance, affirmed he is not vaccinated, which enables a season-long “what if” conversation about his availability. Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis really didn’t make an impact – a letdown, to be sure. K.J. Osborn trended upward, eyeing the WR3 job. A kicker competition is out in full force. Zimmer’s defense is back, jam-packed with new faces and reputable talent. A crisis was averted with Justin Jefferson’s AC joint sprain.

Of course, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook looked terrific, as well.

The regular season is less than one month away.

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