A daily dispatch from Eagan
Cloudy with a chance of Kaare
A less-than-capacity crowd enjoyed a comfortably cloudy day as the Kaare Vedvik mystery continued to unfold less than a month before the regular-season opener. The kicker-punter-holder took all six placekicks during team drills. In the fifth period, with Chad Beebe holding, he was good from 33 and 38 yards, but missed from 40 yards into a light breeze. In the 10th period, with Matt Wile holding, he was good from 40, 44 and 47. The 47-yarder barely cleared the crossbar.
Defense, Dalvin get a little chippy
The situation period put the Vikings offense down 28-23 with 2:03 left, no time outs and the ball at the defense’s 31-yard line. Since there’s very little contact, the offense was able to “convert” a fourth-and-1 on a phantom quarterback sneak. The defense wasn’t thrilled about that decision, so on fourth-and-2 at the 5, linebacker Eric Kendricks popped running back Dalvin Cook pretty hard for what would have been a 2-yard loss. First down, offense. Cook jawed with defensive end Everson Griffen and other defenders. The possession ended with the defense holding inside the 5-yard line.
Beebe stands out … again
On the current roster, there’s no one even close to beating out Chad Beebe for the No. 3 receiver job. Thursday, he was once again one of the toughest receivers to cover because of his quick change of direction and burst of speed. The offense was struggling in a red-zone 7-on-7 drill when Beebe beat Xavier Rhodes inside for a touchdown just over the goal line. He also beat nickel corner Mackensie Alexander on back-to-back plays, including a deep ball, during a full team session.
Watts works at nose tackle
With Linval Joseph still not participating in team drills, rookie sixth-round draft pick Armon Watts worked alongside Shamar Stephen. In some nickel situations, end Stephen Weatherly continued to work inside at tackle. Weatherly also saw some action at both right and left end with the first unit. On one play during a team drill, he collapsed the pocket and batted down a pass attempt from Kirk Cousins.
“He definitely won the job. He won the job. He deserves it, and we’re happy to have him.” – Special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf, when asked if rookie long-snapper Austin Cutting actually beat out veteran Kevin McDermott or the team just decided that still having two long-snappers this close to the season opener was a bad idea.
Among active players, only defensive end Ade Aruna and offensive tackles Brian O’Neill and Aviante Collins were sidelined Thursday. Joseph has yet to participate in a team drill. Running back De’Angelo Henderson returned to practice. Cornerback Mike Hughes and tight end David Morgan remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Defensive end Tashawn Bower is still on the non-football injury list.