There wasn’t a set first- or second-team unit during Tuesday’s practice. Although the team released its first depth chart, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer gave some of the starting veterans a lighter load. That gave some of the younger players fighting for a roster spot a few more reps in preparation for Friday’s preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders.
Defensive end Everson Griffen jumped offsides during an 11-on-11 period, and Zimmer had seen enough from his team. In a spur-of-the-moment decision after the referee tossed his yellow hanky on the field, Zimmer ordered every player to drop down and give him 10 push-ups. Even safety Robert Blanton, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, participated, with the fans applauding Zimmer’s old-school tactic.
From the podium
While defensive coordinator George Edwards has concerns of overloading rookie Anthony Barr in his first camp, he’s been impressed with how Barr has understood the scheme.
“He comes in, he studies, he is preparing in the classroom, he can transfer it over to the field,” Edwards said. “He seems to be lining up and playing with it naturally, and being able to handle what it is we give it to him assignment- and alignment-wise.”
The first depth chart listed Barr as the starting strongside linebacker. The Vikings also have lined him up at defensive end.
“The tempo goes way up, and I don’t care if it’s the first quarter or the fourth quarter — guys have the ability or they have an opportunity to show if they’re going to respond to that or if they struggle with it. And that’s the thing you’re looking for.”
— Offensive coordinator Norv Turner on what he’s paying attention to during the preseason
• S Robert Blanton (hamstring) received a “little bit better prognosis,” Zimmer said, but was held out of practice. CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) also did not participate after dressing Monday.
• OT Antonio Richardson (leg) practiced after his left leg rolled up underneath a defender Monday. Richardson wore a brace around his left knee.
• TEs A.C. Leonard (headache) and Chase Ford (foot) did not participate.
Three days out
Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; 3-5:10 p.m.
Thursday: Travel back to Twin Cities
Friday: Vikings vs. Raiders, 7 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium