During the offseason, Anthony Harris still makes the hour drive north on Interstate 64 from his home in Richmond, Va. to Charlottesville, Va., where he attended the University of Virginia.
So the 25-year-old Vikings safety said it was “shocking” to hear a white nationalist rally was held Saturday in his college town and had turned violent. Heather D. Heyer, a counterprotester, was killed and several injured when a car plowed into a group protesting the rally.
“I kind of was checking out social media a little bit and talking with some of the players I know there,” Harris said. “It’s just sad, you know. I just wish everybody could come together in solidarity and be able to live in peace with one another.”
Harris said he still keeps in touch with current and former UVA football players, members of the university administration and local Charlottesville business owners.
“Just nothing like they’ve ever seen before,” Harris said. “Charlottesville is a small college town. The majority of people that live there have lived there for a very long time. The students that come there are really good people from my experiences over time. To have stuff going on like this in such a large scale, gaining national attention, I think it’s a big shocker to the community and the people there.”
Harris decried the violence, which sparked anti-racism protests around the country from New York to Minneapolis.
“It brings an awareness that people need to realize things like this are still relevant,” Harris said. “We can only move forward if we’re aware and try to live better.”
Less is more?
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer remains undecided on how much his starters will play throughout the next two preseason games after seeing a handful of players injured across the league last week. Starters traditionally play an entire half during the third exhibition, which for the Vikings is Aug. 27 against the San Francisco 49ers.
“You know, I’m honestly really weighing that a lot,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “It’s really a fine line. My concern is all right, how much do we weigh the guys that I really know … just getting them in there to play and the backfire to that is really, are they going to be in shape Sept. 11? That’s something I’m contemplating right now.”
Yet during Friday’s exhibition in Seattle, Zimmer said he is considering leaving quarterback Sam Bradford and the offense in the game until they find a groove after a lackluster start in Buffalo last week.
“I feel like we have to develop a rhythm here a little bit and get going from there,” Zimmer said.
Gedeon still in mix
Rookie linebacker Ben Gedeon continues to get looks with the first-team defense. Gedeon lined up next to Eric Kendricks at weak-side linebacker during a handful of 11-on-11 drills on Tuesday.
The Vikings’ fourth-round pick out of Michigan has had an active summer between playing both middle and outside linebacker. Gedeon was second among all defenders against the Bills last week with five combined tackles in 32 snaps on defense.
Four starters either didn’t practice or weren’t seen on Tuesday. Waynes, guard Alex Boone and safety Andrew Sendejo were sidelined by injuries. Defensive end Everson Griffen was not spotted during the two-hour session.
Boone had a wrap on his left knee and jogged into the locker room after warmups. Waynes (shoulder) and Sendejo (undisclosed) watched practice. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers (hamstring) suited up, but worked with an athletic trainer on the side.
The good news is left tackle Riley Reiff (back), running back Latavius Murray (ankle) and receiver Laquon Treadwell (hamstring) took part in 11-on-11 drills. All three still appeared limited.