MANKATO – Cordarrelle Patterson is feeling better. So much better, he says he could ace Mike Zimmer’s conditioning test (never mind that the Vikings coach is no longer requiring him to take it). Heck, Patterson even offered to run it backward. He’s that sick of standing around.
The Vikings have yet to clear the second-year receiver, who is dealing with a foot injury, rendering him a spectator. But the sight of him going through the motions at Sunday’s morning walkthrough suggested he could soon participate in a practice for the first time in training camp.
“It’s feeling a lot better than it did last week, so I hope here soon,” Patterson said. “I hope I can practice [Monday]. It’s whatever the trainers say.”
Patterson said he injured his left foot training in California last week. As soon as he reported to Minnesota, he took the injury straight to Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman. The team declared it a minor injury and opted not to have him start training camp on the physically able to perform list.
“It was just overtraining,” said Patterson, who scored nine touchdowns as a rookie. “I felt like I was running too many routes and I just kept going and tweaked my foot a little bit.”
Zimmer indicated Sunday morning that Patterson will “probably stay with the walkthroughs for maybe another day.” The Vikings will have a Monday night practice, which figures to be well-attended by the masses in Mankato, before giving players Tuesday off.
Robert Blanton took advantage of injuries to fellow safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo this spring. He often was lined up next to Harrison Smith on the first-team defense, something that carried over into the first three days of training camp.
“Robert has honestly impressed me with being in the right place all the time, he has really good ball skills, and he has made a couple really, really nice plays on the ball. He has been very solid and steady,” Zimmer said. “What I don’t know about him yet is how he is going to be in the tackling, the run support, the man coverage stuff.”
Sanford, a starter in 2012 and 2013, is running with the second- and third-stringers for now. Zimmer and the new coaching staff hardly saw him play this spring and are looking for him show them something. Sanford has been underestimated in similar position battles in the past only to prove victorious.
Keeping in touch
Mankato has been a little quieter this summer without a certain mulleted madman who wore No. 69 running around. Jared Allen is missed, but Vikings players are moving on.
“Jared’s not here? I didn’t even notice,” defensive end Brian Robison said. “No, we all miss Jared. I think we all noticed the first day in meetings that things were just kind of different. And the bottom line is that he moved to another team in the division, and I told him this about a week before we reported to training camp, that I hope he keeps his streak alive of not winning in Chicago.”
Robison and Allen, who used to race each other to the quarterback, remain close, leading to Robison and the now-Bears defensive end to engage in friendly trash talk through text messages.
“It’s all in good fun,” Robison said. “I hope the best for him.”