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Treadwell starts Vikings camp with a brief appearance in the top offense

The Vikings officially opened the 51st training camp in Mankato with Friday’s morning walk-through followed by an afternoon practice in helmets on a sunny, 80-degree day. While players won’t crunch pads together until Sunday, coaches kept an up-tempo pace as players jogged between sessions spread across three practice fields. Here are a few snippets from the first day.

Treadwell stays busy
After not playing much, if at all, with the first-team offense this spring, top draft pick Laquon Treadwell saw a handful of snaps Friday with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during the first training camp practice. Charles Johnson mostly remained with a top group including Stefon Diggs. While he was on the sideline, Treadwell could be seen chopping his feet and staying loose. The 21-year-old receiver stayed at least 20 minutes after practice catching mechanically-hurled footballs from a JUGS machine.

A rough trio
A three-play span in one-on-one drills between receivers and defensive backs was one to forget for cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Johnson sped by on an out-and-up route that faked Rhodes, who jumped on Johnson’s initial cut and was left in the dust. Johnson caught the Teddy Bridgewater pass for a deep completion. Rhodes surrendered three completions in the brief stretch, including one to Treadwell.

Many hands on deck
At least six Vikings were around the group fielding simulated punts from the JUGS machine on Friday. Joining long-time punt returner Marcus Sherels were Diggs, Thielen, receiver Troy Stoudermire, running back Jerick McKinnon and receiver Terrell Sinkfield. Entering his seventh NFL season, Sherels still led the crowded group as he looks to continue his improbable run from undrafted to special-teams mainstay.

Camp chatter
“No snow plow, none of that garbage. We’re running! Run!” – Offensive line coach Tony Sparano as he led 15 linemen through a blocking chute designed to keep hulking athletes low to the ground while accelerating out of their stance.

Injury report
Running back Adrian Peterson eased into camp as he jogged on the side with athletic trainer Eric Sugarman before some light work with the offense. Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson left practice early holding his left shoulder after a leaping downfield grab. Four Vikings weren’t cleared to practice at the onset of training camp. Tight end Rhett Ellison (knee) and nose tackle Kenrick Ellis were placed on the preseason Physically Unable to Perform list. Guard Mike Harris (illness) and quarterback Taylor Heinicke (ankle) were moved to the non-football injury list.

10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough
2:45-5 p.m practice

Day 1 injuries to Patterson, Peterson don't worry Vikings coach Zimmer

The Vikings could not get through the first day of training camp unscathed.

Running back Adrian Peterson missed a portion of today’s first camp practice as he nurses an offseason injury. Cordarrelle Patterson, meanwhile, left practice with what appeared to be a shoulder or collarbone injury.

Patterson suffered the injury at the tail end of a spectacular catch over cornerback Jabari Price. After running down the left sideline, the fourth-year receiver caught a deep ball from second-string quarterback Shaun Hill. But his left shoulder slammed into the ground as he completed the catch.

Patterson groaned loudly and stayed down on the turf until head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman took him inside for examination. Patterson tucked his left arm up against his torso as he slowly left the practice field.

Coach Mike Zimmer did not talk to reporters this afternoon, but he downplayed Patterson’s injury during a radio appearance.

“He made a great catch and it wasn’t his left hand or wrist, I can tell you that,” Zimmer told KFAN-100.3 immediately after practice. “I don’t think it’s anything concerning, but they’re taking a look at it.”

As for Peterson, the veteran running back was spotted during early individual drills running light sprints from sideline to sideline on a vacant practice field with Sugarman. Peterson eventually grabbed his helmet and rejoined his fellow running backs. He even made a cameo in team drills near the end of practice and got carries, a sign that his injury was not serious.

Zimmer’s comments to KFAN on Peterson backed up that notion.

“He tweaked himself a little bit in the offseason. He’s going to be fine,” he said. “He did the conditioning test today. We’re just being careful with him.”

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