The Vikings are off Monday before their final two days of full practices in preparation for their second preseason game Friday night in Seattle. When they get back to work, they’ll hope to do it with more than 50 percent of their starting secondary.
Cornerback Trae Waynes sat out his second consecutive practice on Sunday after injuring a shoulder early in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Bills, and safety Andrew Sendejo missed another practice, putting Antone Exum with the Vikings’ first-team defense in his place.
The Vikings also used Jayron Kearse alongside Harrison Smith at times during Sunday’s practice, but they gave a long look to Exum, the fourth-year player who’s dealt with injuries through the course of his Vikings career and has seen some work this summer at cornerback (the position he played in college).
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell did not take part in team drills, as he continued to deal with the leg injury that’s kept him out since July 31. That gave Michael Floyd more chances to work with the Vikings’ top three-receiver set, alongside Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
Guard Alex Boone was not seen at practice; Nick Easton and Pat Elflein rotated between the center and left guard positions with the Vikings’ first-team offense.
The Vikings have used situational drills since their offseason program to improve at some of the close-game scenarios that gave them trouble last season, when they lost four games by six or fewer points. They weren’t particularly sharp in that part of practice Sunday.
After the first-team offense drove to the edge of field-goal range in a two-minute drill, Marshall Koehn missed a 58-yard field goal wide left. Then, as the Vikings’ second unit tried to drive into field-goal range, rookie Rodney Adams dropped a jumping attempt at a deep out from Case Keenum. The drill ended with Adams landing out of bounds on fourth down as he tried to make a sideline catch and get out of bounds to set up a field goal.
During the Vikings’ field goal period, though, Koehn was sharper than in the situational drill. He hit all four of his attempts, drilling a 52-yarder with plenty of room to spare. Kai Forbath hit three of his four kicks, missing a 40-yard attempt wide left.
After Rhett Ellison signed a four-year contract with the Giants in the spring, second-year tight end David Morgan had an opportunity to step into a bigger role. So far, Morgan has been able to mimic some of the versatility Ellison gave the Vikings for five years.
“We’re asking him to play all three positions: the tight end, the F [back], and then he’s playing a little bit of fullback,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “He’s doing a good job.”
Morgan, a sixth-round pick in 2016, could be in line to be the second tight end behind Kyle Rudolph. Shurmur said he’s not concerned about the Vikings’ relative lack of experience at the position behind Rudolph.