Minnesota Vikings: Week 1 Training Camp Quick Takes

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images /

Players reported to Mankato, MN for training camp Thursday July 28th, while instantly hitting the field Day 2 on Friday. The Minnesota Vikings worked their way through the weekend, and here are some quick takes on the first few days of camp.

Now that the autographs signings and the media interviews are over with and the players have found their new roommates through the short journey through Mankato, Minnesota, now the team can just focus on football.

Related Story: NFC North: Rebound Player Predictions for Each Team

The Minnesota Vikings enter their first practice with a few injuries to note of. Third string quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, whom was supposed to be vying for a possible back-up position; is sidelined after severing a tendon in his foot helping a friend of his break into his home… yea, bizarre is it not? Rhett Ellison not ready to suit up yet obviously, but was joined by Mike Harris and Kendrick Ellis as well viewing from the sidelines.

More from NFL Spin Zone

The Minnesota Vikings have hit some incredible highs before training camp with the Mike Zimmer extension, to the team breaking ground to their new practice facility that will be ready in few years to some devastating lows; the passing of one-time head coach Dennis Green, and now the injuries that continue to diminish the Vikings’ depth on offense.

As we go day by day, the important facts will be touched on with some hopeful highlights along the way for display!

Day 1, Friday, July 29th: The depressing theme for the opening day of practice was injuries. Adrian Peterson spent the day on the sidelines with Eric Sugarman after tweaking his hammy in workouts the week before. Cordarrelle Patterson burned Jabari Price down the sideline and made a great snag, but hurt his shoulder falling to the ground.

Mike Zimmer has noted that neither injury is serious, and that both players will be back in the coming days with Peterson joining the team sooner rather than later.

On the positive side, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was slinging it. Receivers Charles Johnson and rookie Laquon Treadwell both on the receiving end of two pin point throws from Teddy ‘Two Gloves’.

A few little side notes to mention. Tony Sparano got the offensive line going early and often, being heard across the field at times from enthused fans and media. Jerick McKinnon looked as spry and fast as he usually is when he took the first unit reps while Adrian spectated along the sidelines.

Day 2, Saturday, July 30th: Another injury hitting the Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver core as this time the leading receiver of 2016, Stefon Diggs, but was later downgraded to possible minor dehydration and found his way back out to the field.

The first notable play from the first string defense comes from second year linebacker, Eric Kendricks, as he perfectly jumped a Bridgewater throw to Kyle Rudolph and made a diving interception. Minus a few plays that may have gone for sacks and the Kendricks int., the defense hasn’t done a good job slowing down the Teddy led offense.

Speaking of Bridgewater, despite the interception, he once again had a field day against the Minnesota Vikings secondary. More of the deep, accurate throws this time hitting Jarius Wright on a deep post down the middle. What’s not so good for the Vikings is that these deep throws have connected against Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Terence Newman; all corners the Vikings heavily rely on defending the top outside receivers in the league.

Bridgewater may be hot, but his running mates behind him on the depth chart are struggling with their accuracy. Joel Stave and Shaun Hill have continued to overthrow their targets, with Hill grotesquely under-throwing Patterson on the play causing his injury. If Heinicke doesn’t make a quick recovery and these QB’s do not get better, those Nick Foles rumors may come to fruition real quick.

To wrap up the day, some more disheartening news comes our way as Chris Tomasson from TwinCities.com reports that right guard, Mike Harris, was diagnosed with an unspecified illness that could sideline him indefinitely. Harris and the training staff have no clue when the guard may be able to take part in practice.

Day 3, Sunday, July 31st: The first day of pads for the Minnesota Vikings, hopefully the corners of the defense will be able to defend better than the previous two days.

Boy did the defense have themselves a day today. Mike Zimmer throws a bone towards the offensive line yesterday during his conference, the defensive line churns them into minced meat the follow day. The wide receivers have been looking like All-Pros versus the defensive backs, today the corners responded with some highlight interceptions and lock down coverage.

The quarterbacks behind Bridgewater continue to struggle, Stave making numerous questionable throws while Shaun Hill continues to overthrow his intended targets. The depth behind Teddy doesn’t look too great with Heinicke out of the mix.

Left tackle Matt Kalil versus defensive end Everson Griffen has been an absolute disaster for Kalil during team drills, one bright spot on the offensive line today was second year swing tackle T.J. Clemmings. He’s been working with the second team, shutting down Scott Crichton among others in one on one drills. Andre Smith has also made a positive impact on the day, doing a decent job versus Brian Robison during 11 on 11 drills.

Anybody concerned about Blair Walsh and how that late season miss would affect his production, an early look in camp has Walsh 8-of-8 today in team drills, all under 50 yards.

I have been awaiting to hear more on the first round rookie, hoping to get word that Laquon Treadwell made some stand-out plays in pads, but nothing to note as many mentioned that he looked decent, but nothing exactly show-stopping.

Vikings: 5 Positional Battles to Watch in Camp

To sum up the first week of training camp, the offense handled themselves well the first two days of camp, though struggled mightily when the pads came on. Hopefully next week we will get to see Adrian Peterson put on the pads, with a potential return of Cordarrelle Patterson back to the field.