MANKATO -- Just got done talking to players after the first practice of training camp so here are some of the highlights before we start writing for the daily.
- Wide receiver Sidney Rice said there is no doubt in his mind he will be ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener at New Orleans. Rice is beginning training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list and did work off to the side on Friday. Rice said he suffered the injury in the Vikings' loss to New Orleans in the NFC title game. Rice saw three specialists this offseason because of the hip problem and admitted a couple thought he should have had surgery "but but didn’t need it necessarily." Said Rice: "The plan now is just to rehab and getting everything back like it’s supposed to be.” He added that if he had had surgery he thinks he would have been out four-to-six weeks.
- Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson began 7-on-7 drills working with the first-team defense. That was a remarkable accomplishment considering he broke his femur last December. Henderson later gave way to Jasper Brinkley in team drills but nonetheless his recovery is likely way ahead of schedule. Henderson said he wasn't worried going into his first practice since the injury. "These are drills I’ve been doing, these are guys I’ve been playing with for a long time, and I’ve been playing football for a long time, so it was just a matter of getting out there and getting my sea legs back and getting into running shape," he said.
- Sage Rosenfels took second-team reps after being demoted to the third team (behind Joe Webb) in minicamp. He said he still hasn't addressed what happened with coach Brad Childress. Asked about the possibility he will be showcased in training camp for a potential trade, Rosenfels said: "I don't worry about all the possibilities. I just worry about my ability to come out here and work hard and get myself better and get my teammates better. To sit around and worry about all the possibilities that could happen with me or Tarvaris, with Brett, with Joe, it makes no sense. That's great stuff for fans and great stuff for maybe my family but it's not something that I can sit around and worry about it all day."
- Adrian Peterson drew a big crowd of reporters after practice and the All-Pro running back said his fumble problems last season were "mental." "Basically it’s that simple," he said. "Just mentally being aware of my surroundings at all times. Knowing guys are definitely throwing those extra punches to knock it out it at all times. So just mentally knowing that I have it high and tight at all times."
- Peterson said he needs to focus more on carrying the ball high and tight. "When I was holding it low it gives those guys that space to be able to punch up and knock the ball out at times. Bring it up high. Keep it high and tight. Just getting back to the way it’s taught and the way you’re supposed to carry the ball. It’s pretty simple."
- Peterson also said he tried to ignore all the talk locally and nationally about his fumbling issues. "I tried to stay away from NFL Network and ESPN," he said. "But it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m the only one that can do something about it. Adrian Peterson. My mind knows it’s all mental. It’s something that I just have to be more aware of when I’m out there. People are going to say what they want say, voice their opinions my whole career. If I’m thinking about all the negative things then I can’t move forward. I’m focusing on the positive things."
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