The Vikings held the second of their two joint practices with the Bengals this morning on the two outdoor practice fields adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium. This session was shorter than yesterday, clocking in at just over an hour. And the players were in shoulder pads but not lower body pads. Thankfully, it was not as hot and humid as it was yesterday afternoon.
There were four inter-squad 11-on-11 periods today, including red-zone work, two-minute drills and kickoff return reps, including onside kicks.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER STARTING FIVE: The Vikings trotted out a different first-team offensive line than what we saw yesterday. Today, Joe Berger was at right guard with John Sullivan at center. Brandon Fusco, who suited up yesterday, did not participate in the practice. We’ll see if he plays in the preseason opener Friday night. That fivesome held its own for the most part today. I only saw quarterback Teddy Bridgewater get sacked twice by the Bengals, and one came on a heavy blitz on 4th and 10.
TWO MINUTES, ZERO POINTS: That virtual sack came at the end of a two-minute drill between the starting offense and the first-string Bengals defense. In that series, Bridgewater completed his first two passes, including a nice throw and catch by wideout Charles Johnson that got the Vikings to the 25-yard line. But Bridgewater got his next pass tipped at the line and his next two attempts were incomplete, setting up that unsuccessful 4th-and-long play. The second-stringers didn’t score against the Bengals, either, as quarterback Shaun Hill’s heave into the end zone was picked off. Top pick Laquon Treadwell didn’t have much of a chance on that one.
WAYNES WATCH: After succumbing to the heat yesterday and missing the majority of that practice, cornerback Trae Waynes was hydrated and ready to roll this morning. The 2015 top pick lined up at left cornerback with the top defensive unit and made it through the whole practice. He should start tomorrow night against the Bengals. Big opportunity for him.
MORE THAN A FEELING: About a week ago, I noted that Adam Thielen was getting a bunch of reps with the starters. That has not let up. In fact, he is getting pretty much all of the first-team reps in three-wide sets with Jarius Wright out with an injury. In that aforementioned two-minute drill, Thielen was out there with Johnson and Stefon Diggs. Coach Mike Zimmer said a few days ago that we shouldn’t read into Thielen’s uptick in first-team reps. But at this point, I can’t see why we wouldn’t.
CAMP CHATTER: “I thought Teddy played very well both days. I thought he threw the ball good. … I think he’s taking the things we’ve been working on in practice and is continuing to improve.” — Zimmer on his quarterback, who had a solid pair of practices against the Bengals.
INJURY REPORT: For the second straight day, “The Twin Cities Ten” were not spotted, further suggesting that they did in fact remain in Minnesota. Two Vikings who practiced yesterday did not practice this morning. They were Fusco and safety Anthony Harris, who both watched from the side.