Intensity peaks as team enters break
During the Vikings’ fifth practice in a row, and the eighth for rookies, the intensity level remained high Monday heading into the first off day of training camp. On another 83-degree sunny day, one receiver and defensive back tussled, one coach called out the practice referees for missing too many calls and Mike Zimmer had a few choice words for the quarterbacks after one tucked and ran instead of throwing in a situational drill. The full bleacher sections of fans still found reasons to cheer, including another deep connection from Sam Bradford to Stefon Diggs and a few more slick grabs from Michael Floyd.
First fight of camp
The tension had been brewing. Defensive backs and receivers on the side of one-on-one red zone drills argued for their teammates as practice referees threw flags both ways. After one yellow flag hit the ground, receiver Laquon Treadwell and safety Antone Exum Jr. traded verbal barbs before lining up against each other. Then shortly after Treadwell caught a touchdown over Exum, the safety lunged at the receiver. Adam Thielen appeared to try to break up the skirmish unsuccessfully before Exum tackled Treadwell to the ground. Teammates then broke them up. “Treadwell is a great competitor,” Exum said, “and so am I.”
Right guard carousel
The Vikings began rotating players through at right guard, with both rookie Danny Isidora and T.J. Clemmings getting reps with the first-team offense. Veteran Joe Berger figures to start at right guard, but he got some snaps off while younger players got some needed reps. At center, Nick Easton and Pat Elflein continue to swap series, with Easton leading the way.
The southern end zone of a Minnesota State Mankato practice field heated up Monday. That’s where a contested 11-on-11 red zone drill saw Bradford and safety Harrison Smith trade blows. First, Smith deflected a pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph near the goal line. Then Bradford came back with a touchdown to Jarius Wright in the flat. Smith responded with another deflection on a second Rudolph target, before Thielen ended it with a leaping scoring grab in the corner of the end zone.
“I see you holding onto it, throw it now!” — Wide receiver Stefon Diggs calling to a practice referee for a flag on cornerback Jabari Price after he faced receiver Cayleb Jones in a 1-on-1 drill.
LT Riley Reiff (undisclosed) remained a spectator for the fourth consecutive day since exiting Thursday’s practice. Reiff has yet to suit up in the Vikings’ three padded practices of camp so far. … LB Kentrell Brothers didn’t practice again after appearing to injure his left leg on Friday. … CB Tre Roberson walked with a noticeable limp and didn’t practice Monday. … DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (ankle) and RB Jerick McKinnon (undisclosed) suited up, but both appeared limited in team drills.