One of the three Vikings to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list returned to practice Monday.
Receiver Brandon Zylstra, who had dealt with a nagging left hamstring injury, passed his physical and ran routes with the second-team offense during Monday’s morning walkthrough.
“It feels good,” Zylstra said. “It’s something I’ve been waiting a while for, working hard for.”
Zylstra, the Spicer, Minn. native and Concordia College graduate, missed the first three full-squad practices in a crowded receiver group. However, he returns a day after head coach Mike Zimmer lamented the young receivers’ lack of focus and precision during the start of training camp.
That might be why the second-year Zylstra was already running alongside Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Jordan Taylor and Chad Beebe with the first- and second-team offenses during his first walkthrough of camp.
Now healthy, Zylstra (6-2, 215 pounds) has a relatively clear path to a roster spot should he continue to prove his worth on special teams and offense. Zylstra made the 53-man roster last season as a NFL rookie out of the Canadian Football League. He was a core special teamer with 262 snaps and caught one pass for 23 yards on offense.
Zylstra said he’s more confident entering Year 2 with the Vikings.
“I just felt like I was playing a lot faster, a lot more loose and a lot more confident,” Zylstra said.
Cornerback Mike Hughes (knee) and tight end David Morgan (undisclosed) remain on the PUP list.