OTAs help to build up teamwork, playground

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 31, 2012 - 8:31 PM
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The Vikings signed Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith (22), the No. 29 overall pick in the NFL draft, on Thursday. Matt Kalil (67), the No. 4 overall pick, remains unsigned.

Photo: Genevieve Ross, Special To The Star Tribune

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The first set of Vikings organized team activities is in the books and coach Leslie Frazier couldn't be more excited. His team completed its third day of practice Thursday, then boarded buses to Sheridan Arts Magnet school in northeast Minneapolis to help build a new playground.

Frazier had glowing reviews of both the workouts this week and the subsequent community outreach.

"I like the way we're working as a team," he said. "Just to be able to interact with our coaches and the fact that we can do some classroom work, I just feel like we're becoming more of a team."

As for Frazier's role in the playground efforts? He was active in shoveling and spreading mulch around the grounds Thursday.

"It's awesome, man, to be able to come out and be involved in the community," he said. "And it exposes some of our players who really don't get out and see Minneapolis. They get exposed to the community."

Smith signed

The Vikings signed Harrison Smith to a four-year deal. The safety out of Notre Dame was drafted with the No. 29 pick in April and should contend for a starting spot right away. Smith's deal leaves the Vikings with only two drafted rookies left to lock up -- left tackle Matt Kalil (No. 4 overall) and cornerback Josh Robinson (No. 66 overall).

Slow and steady

As Adrian Peterson continues to show progress in his knee rehabilitation, the Vikings are still stressing caution with his eagerness to return to full strength. Peterson continues asserting he feels great and wants to keep advancing in his recovery, intent on being able to participate in training camp and play in Week 1.

Frazier has gone the broken record route with his "One step at a time" warnings and said Thursday he would prefer to have Peterson start training camp in late July by doing work off to the side.

The possibility remains, Frazier confirmed, that Peterson might head to Mankato on the preseason physically unable to perform list, a designation the Vikings could change at any time during camp.

Essentially, placing Peterson on the PUP list during camp would leave open the option the team could use the extra roster spot for a minimum of six weeks during the regular season if the running back's recovery timetable was slowed for any reason and he had to start the season with PUP status.

"We have time," Frazier said. "And I tell him that all the time. We've got time. No sense in rushing things. And once we get closer to games and preseason, I'm sure he'll want to get out there and try to do some things. So we'll have to be smart. We'll have to be smart for him."

Injury update

Center John Sullivan missed the past two days of practice because of a leg bruise. Rookie receiver Greg Childs has been out because of a calf strain that he hurt during rookie minicamp last month. Childs' injury is unrelated to the torn patellar tendon he suffered as a junior at Arkansas.

 

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