MANKATO – Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff missed his fifth consecutive practice on Wednesday afternoon, and though coach Mike Zimmer said Reiff is feeling better, it might still be a few more days before he’s able to return to work.
Reiff had been on the Vikings’ sideline watching practice on recent days but wasn’t seen during either the team’s morning walk-through or afternoon practice. Zimmer indicated after practice Reiff has been dealing with back issues, which wouldn’t be helped by more time on his feet.
“He’s here,” Zimmer said. “[It’s] just, standing around with the back isn’t very good.”
Reiff’s absence has meant more first-team work for Rashod Hill at left tackle, and the Vikings also mixed in Pat Elflein and Nick Easton at right guard on the top offensive unit.
“Here’s what ends up happening: You develop a starting five and typically you take seven to the game,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “So, you have to have a guy that can be primarily an inside guy or a backup center-guard. So, until you become a Hall of Fame starter at a position where that’s your position, if you’re, say, the sixth guy and you’re the inside kind of rotational guy you have to do both, and then you always have a guy that can play tackle and maybe guard.”
Treadwell sits out
During the Vikings’ Monday practice, second-year wide receiver Laquon Treadwell’s fight with defensive back Antone Exum was one of the stories of the day. When the Vikings returned to practice on Wednesday, Treadwell was a nonparticipant.
The receiver was on the practice field without a helmet, watching the Vikings’ afternoon session after taking part in the team’s morning walk-through. Treadwell declined to comment after practice, and Zimmer would not say whether Treadwell’s absence was related to his fight with Exum.
“I don’t know how long he’s going to be out,” Zimmer said.
The Vikings’ first practice after their off day was littered with yellow flags, including several penalties for false starts.
“Too many today,” Zimmer said. “We had zero [pre-snap penalties] two days ago, and the day before that. We had about four today.”