A daily dispatch from Mankato.
As he had promised, rookie linebacker Michael Mauti, a seventh-round pick from Penn State, was medically cleared and ready for action for the Vikings’ first training camp practice.
Mauti is working back from his third ACL tear and the second on his left knee, the most recent occurring last November. He felt spry and strong during practice and immediately after as well.
The rookie said his next big hurdle in assimilating back into the mix will be loosening up.
“If anything, I just have to relax,” he said. “There’s a lot going on right now and everything’s new. So you have to get in the film room and hope that’ll help slow things down and get me more acclimated.”
Knee update, part II
Center John Sullivan was back practicing for the first time since undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee last winter. That’s great news for an offensive line that returns all five starters.
Sullivan is not yet ready to assume a full practice workload but seemed to move around well Friday. With still more than six weeks until the regular season opener in Detroit, the Vikings will use perspective and caution in bringing Sullivan along.
From the podium
The Vikings currently have seven players in the 30-and-over club, four of them starters on defense. And with Kevin Williams, 32; Jared Allen, 31; and Brian Robison, 30, all entering the final season on their contracts, it’s quite possible that the veteran core of the defense — Chad Greenway is also 30 — could be making its last run together.
“You don’t like to think about that,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “But we do have some guys who are approaching their final year of their contract. I think for all of our players, all of our coaches, the most important thing we could do is be in this moment and play as hard as we can together for now.”
“I feel great. I haven’t felt this good in years. Who would have thought? Get a little tuneup after 10 years and you’d be good to go.”
– Defensive end Jared Allen on his health after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
• WR Greg Childs (knees) was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
• LB Nathan Williams (ankle) was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Three days out
Today: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through; 2:30-4:45 p.m.
Sunday: Players off
Monday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.