Thu, 29 Sep 2022

3 Observations: Splitting Reps & a 60-yard FG

Minnesota Vikings
13 Aug 2022, 04:37 GMT+10

Craig Peters

EAGAN, Minn. - The Vikings opened Thursday's practice with Sean Mannion at quarterback and closed the team's full-speed portion with a drive by Kellen Mond.

Minnesota alternated between the quarterbacks who are listed as "OR" for the second-team spot on the first Vikings unofficial depth chart.

The team proceeded without starter Kirk Cousins, who was away from Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center because of an illness. Cousins' status, as well as Head Coach Kevin O'Connell's interest in playing him (if healthy) Sunday at Las Vegas, remain unknown.

Mannion had a couple of nice completions to Justin Jefferson during a practice period. He also delivered a strike to Adam Thielen for about 20 on a third-and-9, but Danielle Hunter likely would have recorded a sack on that play.

Mond had completions to Thielen and Zach Davidson earlier in the session. Davidson also caught a pass on a third-and-10 when the pocket held.

The Vikings tasked Mond with leading the situational drill at the end of practice.

The offense trailed 22-21 with 50 seconds remaining and the ball at its 40-yard line.

Mond started with a 7-yard completion to Albert Wilson and later picked up fourth-and-2 with a short pass to Myron Mitchell that advanced the ball to the 50. The offense spiked the ball with 11 seconds remaining before Mond connected with Wilson for a gain of 8.

A timeout brought Greg Joseph onto the field with five seconds remaining, and the kicker drilled the 60-yarder with room to spare. The distance was a new long for Joseph in team drills, topping the 58-yard length he'd been successful from multiple times.

In addition to Cousins, guard/center Chris Reed and receiver Jalen Nailor did not participate.

Defensive lineman Jullian Taylor worked out on a side field.

Receiver Blake Proehl and linebacker Ryan Connelly remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Here are three observations from Thursday's session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. Splitting reps elsewhere

Andrew Booth, Jr., and Cameron Dantzler each took reps with the first team at cornerback.

Booth, a second-round pick this spring, opened with the unit. Dantzler, a third-round pick in 2020, has run with the first team more often.

"There's some real selfless parts of the defense where guys have to commit to playing maybe a different way than they're ultimately accustomed to or comfortable with - Cam's not only done that, he's then made plays on the grass in competitive, 1-on-1 situations," O'Connell said. "I know when you talk to our receivers, they all say Cam's having a great camp, and those are the best judges, in my opinion, when you're talking about the guys they're covering."

2. Ingram again

After logging time with the first team on Wednesday in pads, Ed Ingram opened the session at right guard between center Garrett Bradbury and Brian O'Neill.

O'Connell was asked Thursday about the team's evaluation between Ingram and veteran Jesse Davis, who repped with the second team Thursday.

"You bring them along, and then ultimately we have to see them play in there with the other guys - and that kind of ties to [a previous] question about communication and being able to operate with a bunch of different guys and a bunch of different circumstances," O'Connell said. "But ultimately with that first group, Ed has earned the right to get some reps with those guys, Jesse's done a really nice job, as well, so that healthy competition is, I think, what's going to make our o-line the best possible group."

3. Jog it out

The Vikings followed Joseph's kick in the 2-minute drill scenario by shedding their pads and helmets for a 20-minute jog-through.

The "neck-up" work was another step in preparing for Minnesota's preseason opener Sunday in Las Vegas. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. (CT).

While Mannion worked at QB for the first half of the session, Mond spent nearly the entire part speaking with O'Connell before heading in and finishing the jog-through at QB.

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