Vikings Day at Camp: Ponder looks sharper in Saturday night practice

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2013 - 12:14 AM

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Some highlights from Saturday night’s practice in front of about 10,000 fans at Blakeslee Stadium:

• Christian Ponder and the offense had their best practice of camp by far. During an 11-on-11 red-zone segment, Ponder went 4-for-4 with touchdown passes to Greg Jennings and Stephen Burton.

Ponder also showed touch on a deep ball completion to Jerome Simpson. “Much sharper,” coach Leslie Frazier said of the offense. “To hit that explosive to Jerome, that’s what we’re hoping to see so that we can loosen up the secondary.”

• Blair Walsh made seven of 10 field-goal attempts, including a 58-yarder. He missed wide right from 33, 45 and 48 yards. The 45-yarder was the result of a bad snap.

• Injuries at cornerback forced Marcus Sherels to play some with the first-team defense. He intercepted Ponder during an 11-on-11 segment.

Bishop out again

The first full week of camp ended with linebacker Desmond Bishop on the shelf, held out of the night practice because of a groin pull. Not ideal for a guy who just joined the team in late June and missed all of the 2012 season because of a torn hamstring. “Can’t say I’m totally surprised it would happen considering all the time he missed a year ago,” Frazier said. “We really need to see him in some live situations,” Frazier said.

FROM THE PODIUM

“You want to say, ‘This guy can run and he’s physical and he’s big. We’re going to play him at [middle linebacker], and at [strongside] and we’re going to drop him [into coverage] and we’re going to rush him and make him cover. And then I think you can water down what a guy does.”

— Defensive coordinator Alan Williams on the athleticism and versatility of defensive lineman Everson Griffen, who had three sacks in the night practice.

CAMP CHATTER

“Either way. … It’s not hard for me to switch it on and get into full contact.”

Adrian Peterson on whether or not he needs contact during the preseason.

INJURY REPORT

• CB Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) missed practice Friday and Saturday.

• S Mistral Raymond (undisclosed) missed practice Friday and Saturday.

• LB Desmond Bishop (groin) missed Saturday.

• CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) was limited in Saturday’s practice.

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