A Trio of Promising Vikings Returned to Practice

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Injuries have been a problem in Vikings training camp, especially many minor ones. A bunch of players missed a few days or weeks throughout camp. Defensive lineman James Lynch is out for the season with a torn ACL, and linebacker William Kwenkeu was waived with an injury designation and reverted to IR. The purple team received some good injury news on Monday.

A Trio of Promising Vikings Returned to Practice

Three significant Vikings contributors missed some time but returned to the practice field on Monday, two days after the preseason contest against the Tennessee Titans, a game they all missed. Both wideouts Jordan Addison and Jalen Nailor returned, just like linebacker Brian Asamoah.

A Trio of Promising Vikings Returned to Practice
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted about the top pick: “WR Jordan Addison (concussion protocol) is on the field for the Vikings’ no-pads practice today. He’s carrying a red jersey, but there is not going to be much contact today anyway.”

That is fantastic news. He suffered a potential concussion early last week and was held out with concussion-like symptoms. Those trigger the concussion protocol. Wearing a red jersey in practice (that is supposed to keep him away from contact) is one of the final stages before a full clearance. He is close to fully returning to practice, even with contact.

His role will be a major one in the offense, and he has shown his potential in the first preseason game, where he recorded a 22-yard reception and made an unreal catch at the sidelines that didn’t count. The idea is that his presence either opens up the field for Justin Jefferson or that he can take advantage of Jefferson, drawing the attention of defenses.

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His fellow wideout Jalen Nailor also returned. He missed every practice session after the first one with a leg injury. Nailor shined in that one practice and appeared to be a breakout player, but the absence obviously put an end to that.

The receiver had an outstanding game in Week 17 against the Packers and was one of very few bright spots when he caught three passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Some were concerned if Nailor would be healthy to start the season, jeopardizing his roster status. Those concerns can disappear just as fast as his breakout talk on the first day of camp.

Jefferson, Osborn, Addison, and Nailor are the top four receivers on the depth chart and should be expected to obtain four of the five or six roster spots. Behind them is a race between Jalen Regaor, Brandon Powell, Trishton Jackson, and Thayer Thomas.

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The third dinged-up guy to be on the field was Brian Asamoah, the starting linebacker. After some promising outings in his rookie season, the former third-rounder is on pace to take over the linebacker duties for Eric Kendricks. He will line up next to Jordan Hicks.

Similar to Nailor, folks wondered if Asamoah’s extended absence would open the door for Ivan Pace to replace him in the starting unit, but that should still be considered a surprise if it was to happen, despite Pace’s emergence.

Asamoah needs the reps in practice to get ready for his enhanced role in Brian Flores’ defense, as young linebackers need to read the field correctly and make quick and instinctive decisions.

It remains to be seen if the three will be fully active during the joint practice sessions when the Arizona Cardinals arrive in Eagan on Wednesday and Thursday.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt