Unless there was another team bus that got lost in traffic on the way to Paul Brown Stadium this morning, the Vikings arrived in Cincinnati for their joint practices without 10 of the 86 players on their active roster.
Or maybe those guys saw the sky open up and opted to stay on the bus.
That absentee list during a wet walkthrough included receiver Jarius Wright; cornerbacks Terence Newman, Melvin White and Marcus Sherels; running back Jhurell Pressley; linebackers Eric Kendricks, Edmond Robinson and Brandon Watts; and defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd and Scott Crichton.
Phew, give me a few seconds to catch my breath after all those names.
After the walkthrough, Mike Zimmer said that a couple of those players had family emergencies pop up yesterday and that there is a chance they could join the team here in Cincinnati before Friday night’s preseason opener.
“They’ll probably be here, so they’ll be a little late,” the coach said.
Sherels' brother, Gophers linebackers coach Mike Sherels, was having surgery in the Twin Cities. Wright, Newman, Robinson, Kendricks, Watts, Crichton and Floyd are known to be dealing with injuries -- none of them suited up for the team’s final camp practice in Mankato yesterday.
“Basically, I just didn’t want to bring them,” Zimmer said. “If they’re hurt, they can’t do anything. So they’ll get better treatment up there.”
“And I was in a bad mood when they asked me,” he added with a smirk.
Interestingly, one player who tagged along for the trip was tight end Rhett Ellison, even though he remains on the PUP list as he works his way back from offseason knee injury. Ellison isn’t expected to practice today or tomorrow or play against the Bengals on Friday night, though.
“He’s getting mostly field work and we thought it would be better for him to get field work here as opposed to [at Winter Park],” Zimmer said.
One more tidbit before the afternoon practice, which starts at 1:50 p.m. CT: Zimmer said he invited the Bengals coaching staff to join his Vikings staff at his house in Kentucky tomorrow night for a little gathering. He is treating the group by catering the famous ribs from the Montgomery Inn.
I’m still waiting for my invite from Zimmer. Probably an oversight.