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.


Floyd back, Ballard sidelined and discussing a mild summer

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: August 12, 2013 - 5:48 PM

MANKATO -- Just cleaning up some injury news ...

. Backup defensive tackle Christian Ballard didn't practice today. He has a groin injury and is tending to a personal issue.

. Backup cornerback Jacob Lacey had his arthroscopic knee surgery today and is expected to be out two to four weeks. 

. Rookie first-round draft pick Sharrif Floyd, who had an MRI on his sore left knee on Sunday, was back in uniform and participating in practice on Monday.

. Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (groin) held up again in practice today and are on schedule to make their preseason debuts on Friday in Buffalo.

And in other news ...

Practice began today with a group of defensive players, including Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Chad Greenway and Jamarca Sanford chanting "Shells, shells, shells!", meaning they wanted coach Leslie Frazier to have them take the pads off. The chanting started during stretching and continued through the individual drills.

"Shells, shells, shells," Frazier said. "They've been asking for about a week now. We'll see if we relent before we break camp. I have a feeling we won't, but we'll listen though."

This has been the coolest training camp that anyone can recall, with temperatures in the 70s, low 80s and even a few in the 60s. Plus, the NFL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) allows for only one practice a day and one walk-through.

"This new CBA and then you get weather like this?" Frazier said. "Man, this is a player's dream."

But it's not a coach's dream.

"I like a little heat," Frazier said. "I think it's good for our linemen to sweat a little bit. But, hey, we deal with it. ... We've gotten quality work, but I can't remember having this many consecutive days like this."

Asked if he tells any "back-in-my-day" stories to today's players, Frazier, a cornerback for the Bears in the 1980s, said, "Oh yeah, we talk a little bit about that. And a few guys, like Kevin Williams, he remembers what it was like with two-a-days and hitting every day. But there's not many more. Even the guys coming from college, they don't know what it's like to go back to back to back. It's a dying breed." 

 

 

 

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