Pockets of rain poured on the Vikings during Sunday’s practice. While fans and reporters huddled in the nearest tents, the players remained on the field for their first practice with pads. Coach Mike Zimmer didn’t budge after heavy rain fell during the stretching period and an 11-on-11 period near the end of practice. It was the first time the Vikings could incorporate 1-on-1 drills, which created more “oohs” and “ahhs” from the fans. They gave the biggest roar to former Minnesota State Mankato receiver Adam Thielen, who caught a pinpoint pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater over safety Jamarca Sanford near the sideline.
There hasn’t been movement among Bridgewater, Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. The pecking order remains the same with Cassel receiving most of the first-team reps. They all were sharp again, even in the rain. Zimmer said he will use Tuesday’s off day to reassess reps at every position in preparation for the first preseason game against the Raiders on Aug. 8. Until then, the rotation and distribution should remain the same on Monday.
From the podium
Running back Jerick McKinnon struggled in 1-on-1 pass protection drills against linebackers. It was only the second time he has participated in the drill, with the first happening during Senior Bowl practices. The rookie wasn’t asked to pass protect at Georgia Southern, and he was caught off-guard on a bull rush from linebacker Gerald Hodges early in the drill.
“Your first reaction is you want to protect yourself so you won’t come up and thud up,” McKinnon said. “That’s when you start getting on your toes and launching, and you get beat. I was struggling with that and maybe won one or two. It’s always something to improve on, and I look forward to it every day.”
“He is a very try-hard guy, which I like that. He hasn’t made a lot of mistakes. He has got really good lower-body strength and power. I would anticipate that he has a chance to get into the rotation.”
— Mike Zimmer on rookie defensive end Scott Crichton
• WR Cordarrelle Patterson (foot) participated in walk-through but missed his third straight practice. He was running routes, however, on the third field at the start of practice.
• CB Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring), S Andrew Sendejo (back and ankle) and TE Chase Ford (foot) are on the physically unable to perform list.
Three days out
Today: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; 3-5:10 p.m.