Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings officials will talk about McKinnie today

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, AFC, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Anthony Herrera, Antoine Winfield, Bryant McKinnie, Cedric Griffin, Chad Greenway, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: August 2, 2011 - 12:58 PM

MANKATO -- Coach Leslie Frazier gave no update on left tackle Bryant McKinnie's situation today after the Vikings' single practice but said the situation would be discussed by team officials later in the day.

McKinnie, meanwhile, spent a second day on the non-football injury list for undisclosed reasons. There is a possibility he was put on the list because of his weight and conditioning but team officials have not confirmed that. Charlie Johnson, who was signed as a free agent after playing for the Colts, is expected to be at left tackle when the full team is allowed to start practicing on Thursday.

"There are a number of things that we want to work on with Bryant and some other guys as well," Frazier said. "Conditioning is part of it. We just want to try to make sure that we're doing the right thing by every guy that's wearing the purple."
 
Asked if he could sense a timetable on McKinnie's return to the field, Frazier said, "Not certain as we speak. I'll learn a little more this afternoon when we talk where we're headed."

McKinnie and right guard Anthony Herrera (knee) did work off to the side again as players went through a practice that featured 7-on-7 and team drills. It was scheduled to run from 9 to 11:05 a.m. but ended about 15 minutes early.

As for Adrian Peterson, Frazier said he has not talked to the running back but from what he has been told things are positive and moving along on the baby front. Peterson's fiancee went into labor on Monday.

Frazier confirmed that Donovan McNabb will be able to take part in the first practice Thursday. That will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Other highlights from the day ...

  • Frazier said free agent acquisition Remi Ayodele will take over as the first-team nose tackle when he's allowed to practice on Thursday.
  • A reminder of the decline of the importance of the fullback position in the NFL: On a 90-man roster, the Vikings have two fullbacks. And neither one has played a down in the NFL. Second-year pro Ryan D'Imperio, a late-round draft pick a year ago, is a converted linebacker. The other fullback is undrafted rookie Matt Asiata. D'Imperio has promise. I think he's already better than Naufahu Tahi, who wasn't re-signed.
  • Three of the top four receivers on the team aren't allowed to practice until Thursday per the new CBA rules. When the Vikings lined up their first team today, the starting receivers were Percy Harvin and Jaymar Johnson. Greg Camarillo and Emmanuel Arceneaux ran with the second team.
  • Joe Webb didn't look particularly sharp. On the first play of seven-on-seven drills, he was intercepted by Chad Greenway. Webb threw another pick (Jamarca Sanford) later on, but the ball bounced out of Andre Holmes' hands.
  • All six tight ends are practicing. Rookie Kyle Rudolph is fourth behind Shianco, Kleinsasser and Jeff Dugan. But the rook definitely looks the part.
  • Speaking of looking the part. If you come down to Mankato, you have to take a look at undrafted rookie Jonathan Gilmore. He's a 6-4, 295-pound MIDDLE LINEBACKER. Yep. 295, and built like Brock Lesnar, if not bigger. We'll see if he can play, but he was running with the second team defense and on special teams for at least a portion of today's practice.
  • Not that this will interest anyone but me, but the Vikings have a defensive back named Simeon Castille. His father, Jeremiah Castille, is a name that makes me, a native Northeast Ohioan, feel the way y'all feel about Drew Pearson. Jeremiah is the guy who caused "The Fumble" -- Earnest Byner's fumble late in the 1987 AFC title game at Denver. 
  • Percy Harvin looks good. He's still working as the No. 1 kickoff returner. Lorenzo Booker is No. 2. And defensive back Cord Parks, who was picked up as a rookie free agent a year ago, is No. 3.
  • The Vikings hope to have Cedric Griffin to line up at CB with Antoine Winfield when the season starts. But they're taking it slow with Griffin, who's returning from an ACL tear for the second time in two years. In the meantime, the team is alternating Chis Cook and Asher Allen with the first team in an effort to determine which would be the better nickel back. My money's on Cook.
  • Only one more day until the full team is allowed to practice together and in pads. But Wednesday's practices might be interesting. Like today, there will be some team drills and some seven-on-seven competitions. 
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