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' Bridgewater not at OTA; Cassel handles first team reps

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: May 29, 2014 - 1:22 PM

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t at Thursday’s OTA due to an NFLPA rookie photo shoot in Los Angeles. He was one of 35 rookies invited to the event (and the only Viking) and will also miss Friday’s OTA for the event.

Matt Cassel took most of the first team reps during Thursday’s OTA with Christian Ponder receiving second and third team reps. Bridgewater was at Wednesday’s OTA and briefly spoke to running back Adrian Peterson.

“Seems like a smart kid,” Peterson said. “Looking in his eyes, you can see he’s hungry. He’s out there competing for a starting job and he’s going to have to really work hard, because Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, those guys are out there working extremely hard too to get that starting position.”

Four of the team’s top five picks were not at Thursday’s OTA. Linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Scott Crichton and offensive lineman David Yankey must finish their school exams before they can continue NFL activities. Running back Jerick McKinnon, a third round choice, was the only player among the top five picks at the OTA.

Other notes:

*Offensive tackle Matt Kalil and safety Andrew Sendejo were held out of Thursday’s OTA due to two offseason procedures. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said Sendejo had a back procedure and wasn’t present at the team’s voluntary minicamp last month.

Zimmer wouldn’t disclose Kalil’s offseason procedure but said it wasn’t his shoulder. Kalil was also held out of the team’s voluntary minicamp last month.

*Cornerback Josh Robinson and safety Jamarca Sanford were also held out of Thursday’s OTA as a precaution. Zimmer said it wasn’t anything serious.

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