After a warming-up period on the first day of training camp, the Minnesota Vikings have slowly ramped up the practices, giving more time and attention to the middle of the roster, where they still have to determine which players can start and which can be key depth pieces.
As a result, we ended up seeing some great first-team vs. second-team matchups on both sides of the ball. Not much has changed on the injury front, but there is a new player added to the list of absences.
Latest Practice Report From Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Minnesota Vikings Injury News
There was only one change in practice attendance from the previous day. The players who were not in attendance:
- G Chris Reed
- EDGE Andre Carter II
- OT Brian O’Neill
- EDGE Danielle Hunter
- WR Jalen Nailor
Chris Reed and Andre Carter had already been placed on reserved lists for their injuries, and Brian O’Neill, who is not on any reserve or injured list, is working his way back into health.
There’s no word yet on Nailor’s absence after he had an excellent day playing with the first team on Day 1.
Danielle Hunter’s hold-in against the Vikings continues.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart News
The Vikings have added new players to the roster, so it helps that we were able to see the newly signed Bobby Evans slot into his new role as the second-team right guard. The Vikings were low on guard depth heading into camp, so this might be one solution that doesn’t rely on cross-training a tackle into the position.
The Vikings kept Ivan Pace Jr. with the second team, signaling that his place there has nothing to do with a rotation but rather a preference to put him on that second unit. During spring practices, it was Troy Reeder and Troy Dye on the second team, with Pace on the third team. Now, Pace has surpassed Reeder on the depth chart.
Reeder has special teams capability, so this doesn’t lock him out of a roster spot. But it does mean that there’s already value in the undrafted free agent class.
There was more rotation on the defense, with players like James Lynch and Dean Lowry getting more run with the first team and glimpses of backups like Curtis Weaver and T.J. Smith on the second team.
On special teams, undrafted free agent Thayer Thomas, who impressed a little bit in two-minute drills during the spring, also took part in the punt return competition.
With Nailor absent on offense, that meant we got to see a bit more of Jordan Addison alongside Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn.
Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Day 2 Standouts
Kirk Cousins wasn’t as tidy on Day 2 of camp as he was on the first day, with windy conditions taking the ball out of ideal locations and even finding himself subject to pass deflections at the line of scrimmage.
Harrison Smith took advantage of the conditions, however, picking off backup quarterback Nick Mullens for the highlight of the day.
There was better news for the third-string quarterback. Jaren Hall, after an up-and-down first day of camp, had a pretty sharp outing in the follow-up session, according to a number of observers. Judd Zulgad of Skor North and Alec Lewis of the Athletic were impressed by the fifth-round rookie.
Before practice, offensive coordinator Wes Phillips mentioned how difficult it would be to get Hall some meaningful playing time, saying, “The reps are limited for guys like that. We feel great about Nick, so sometimes you’re trying to get Nick ready for his role. Trying to find reps for Jaren can be tough. We’re going to have some periods where younger guys get an opportunity.”
This tells us that there isn’t really much of a competition for the second quarterback spot, but it’s promising nevertheless. Phillips mentioned being impressed by Hall’s studiousness and the fact that he’s been acing the Jeopardy!-style quizzes that quarterbacks coach Chris O’Hara has put together.
“Coach O’Hara, he’s got a nice — I don’t know if it’s through PowerPoint or something — but he’s been doing it for a couple of years now. But yeah, it’s the whole double Jeopardy!, final Jeopardy!, daily doubles, the whole deal,” said Phillips. And, of course, Hall has to answer in the form of a question.
As for starters, there’s always Jefferson.
Justin Jefferson makes it look so easy. pic.twitter.com/8JXEvtdyer
— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) July 27, 2023