The fourth day of Minnesota Vikings training camp didn’t disappoint, and it happened to be the first day that fans could watch. They put on a show for the crowd after being forced to practice indoors yesterday, running at quarter-speed.
We received some critical updates about key players on the roster, and we saw some signs of what the offense could become.
Latest Practice Report From Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Minnesota Vikings Injury News
There hasn’t been much change in the injury situation with the Vikings, but they did have another player walk off the field with an injury. The following players either missed practice or left partway through practice:
- G Chris Reed
- EDGE Andre Carter II
- EDGE Danielle Hunter
- OT Brian O’Neill
- WR Jalen Nailor
- OT Vederian Lowe
Chris Reed entered camp on the PUP list, while Andre Carter II entered camp on the NFI list. Danielle Hunter is in the middle of a contract standoff with the Vikings that seemingly has recently heated up.
Brian O’Neill continues to rehab off to the side of practice. When asked about O’Neill’s timetable for return, head coach Kevin O’Connell declined to give specifics but mentioned that O’Neill was ahead of the schedule they set for him and that they may increase his “activity level” through walkthroughs and potentially practices “in the not so distant future.”
O’Connell said in strong terms that O’Neill will be ready for the season, and the staff has made the determination, given his experience level, “that time on the football side is not as important as medically, [that we make sure that] we’ve crossed every T and dotted every I.”
Jalen Nailor sustained a leg injury through contact on a contested catch and is being handled on a “day-to-day” basis, according to O’Connell, and is projected to be back “early next week.”
Vederian Lowe left practice partway through the session. There has been no update on his injury status.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart News
With Lowe leaving practice, newly-signed OL Bobby Evans stepped into the right tackle position on the second team. No changes have been made on the depth charts, with O’Neill remaining out and Oli Udoh continuing to play right tackle in his stead.
At cornerback, Akayleb Evans continues to find himself higher up on the depth chart than Andrew Booth Jr., placing him on the first team opposite Byron Murphy. In nickel sets, Joejuan Williams continues to see the field more often than rookie Mekhi Blackmon.
Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Standouts
The first day of practice with fans in the stands meant that the Vikings could put on a show. And Justin Jefferson was happy to oblige. The highlight of the day belonged to Jefferson on a deep sideline throw. Cornerback Akayleb Evans had difficulty keeping up and hit the ground, which resulted in a Jefferson touchdown after he caught the ball and sprinted to beat safety Camryn Bynum to the end zone.
The media weren’t allowed to take videos during that portion of practice, resulting in best approximations of courtroom sketches hitting the feed early on.
I can’t shoot video anymore so here’s an illustration of an estimated 80-yard touchdown pass from Kirk to Jefferson with Evans on the ground. pic.twitter.com/dYWdcCPTmm
— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) July 29, 2023
Fans in the stands were under no such restrictions, however, and posted the remarkable highlight.
— Rick Sosa (@sosarick) July 29, 2023
Jefferson wasn’t done there, either. He beat Booth Jr. on a post route for another deep touchdown after that.
Justin Jefferson just absolutely roasted the secondary for the second time today. This time Andrew Booth Jr. is the victim.
"You're him!" a little kid yells from the stands. "You're him!"
— Dane Mizutani (@DaneMizutani) July 29, 2023
The Vikings’ star wide receiver usually plays much better in the season than he does in camp, without many splashy camp highlights. This year is seemingly pretty different, and this isn’t the only day his star has shone brightly.
Just realized with that Justin Jefferson catch yesterday that he'd actually been practicing the dang thing minutes earlier. And @Vikings caught it on video, too. Just wowing. pic.twitter.com/n9Toyt0pTM
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) July 29, 2023
It turned out to be a big day for splashy plays, as second-year safety Lewis Cine successfully dove for an interception in a two-minute drill against the second-team offense. The offense was in field goal range, but Cine’s break on Nick Mullens’ pass meant the offense came away with no points.
Jaren Hall continued his up-and-down performance in camp, following his impressive outing on Friday with a two-interception showing on Saturday.