As one of the perks of being Adrian Peterson’s backup, Toby Gerhart gets to take most of the first-team reps at running back during full-contact action. Unfortunately for Gerhart, that’s put him in the crosshairs for several big hits this week. In 11-on-11 short-yardage work Thursday, Gerhart absorbed huge shots on consecutive plays. He was upended on the first play by tackle Fred Evans and hit hard up high by Everson Griffen. On the next carry, Gerhart was popped in the backfield by linebacker Erin Henderson, drawing a chorus of “oooohs” from the stands. Meanwhile, the reigning MVP stood safely by as an untouched and well protected bystander.
A week into things, camp has remained relatively injury- and drama-free. So it doesn’t take much to cause a little bit of titillation for fans and reporters. During 11-on-11 work Thursday, the first near dust-up of camp came when rookie Xavier Rhodes intercepted a pass in the end zone and was then thumped on his return by guard Seth Olsen. Defensive players took exception to Olsen’s hit on the prized corner, barking their displeasure while the rest of the O-line marched in to back Olsen. Aside from a couple small shoves, the tension died out quickly.
From the podium
You might know very little about reserve safety Andrew Sendejo, a fourth-year veteran who joined the Vikings late in the 2011 season to aid a decimated secondary. But Sendejo rapidly has become a favorite of specials teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who has found a role for Sendejo on all of the return and coverage teams. Sendejo is battling to secure a roster spot, a quest that will be aided by his special teams hustle and versatility. Said Priefer: “Incredible work ethic. Great study. He’s great in the weight room. Runs hard, practices hard, prepares hard. Very coachable. Smart, tough, fast. I really like Drew. He’s done a nice job.”
“Seriously, those guys across that state line, I had an outstanding time with those guys. Everything I say, I’m joking. I’m messing. I’m pulling Aaron’s arm. I mean if he doesn’t know that or you guys don’t know that … I played with the guy for seven years. I think he knows that.” — Greg Jennings, attempting to soften his recent criticism of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
• WR Greg Childs (knees) and LB Nathan Williams (ankle) were placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Thursday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.
Friday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.
Saturday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 7-9 p.m. full pads (in Blakeslee Stadium).