As the Vikings worked through their final practice of the week before their preseason game at Seattle on Friday night, they were still without several starters.
Left tackle Riley Reiff sat out most of the team drills during Wednesday’s practice, as Rashod Hill again worked with the team’s top offensive unit. Guard Alex Boone missed his third practice in a row, watching the session with a brace on his left knee. Nick Easton took most of the snaps at left guard with the first-team offense, while rookie Pat Elflein was at center.
Running back Latavius Murray did not participate much in team drills, and receiver Laquon Treadwell was also limited.
On defense, Antone Exum was again with the Vikings’ first unit at safety, while Andrew Sendejo continued to sit out. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers, who has been nursing a hamstring injury since early in training camp, participated in some of the Vikings’ individual drills.
Wishing Walsh well
The Vikings will face Blair Walsh on Friday for the first time since cutting the kicker last November, after he missed four field goals and four extra points in nine games (including two critical misses against the Lions on Nov. 5). He signed with Seattle in February.
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who stood by Walsh through a round of struggles that seemed largely tied to the kicker’s confidence in the wake of his playoff miss the previous season, said he contacted Walsh to congratulate him when he signed with the Seahawks.
“I was happy for him, and that’s pretty much it,” Priefer said. “I’ll say hello to him; I’ve got no ill will. I like Blair. He’s a fine young man and we had 4½ years together.”
In his first preseason game with the Seahawks, Walsh hit two field goals — from 42 and 28 yards out — and made all six of his extra points.
“He did a lot of really good things here in Minnesota,” Priefer said. “I know it didn’t end well for him and for us a couple years ago, but at the end of the day, he’s a very talented young man.”
Indians’ visit a thrill
With the Indians in town for a three-game series with the Twins, several Cleveland players visited Vikings practice on Wednesday as guests of Priefer, a Cleveland native and staunch Indians fan.
“It’s ridiculous. If my wife was here, she’d be making fun of me. As Corey Kluber was sitting there, I was like, ‘Hey Corey, how you doing?’ ” Priefer said, pretending to have a look of awe on his face. “And I’ve met him several times. So it’s just like being a little kid, absolutely.”
Priefer said he met a number of Indians players during a trip to spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., several years ago.
“They love coming over here,” he said. “Michael Brantley, the All-Star left fielder, he’s the biggest Minnesota fan there is and he’s on the DL right now. It’s killing him that he’s not here today. That’s what he told me, anyway.”
No deadline for O-line
As the Vikings continue their competition between Easton and Elflein for the center job and wait to get players such as Reiff and Boone healthy, they have yet to solidify a starting five. But quarterback Sam Bradford — who had to learn the Vikings offense after arriving in a trade eight days before the 2016 season opener — is able to deal with a little uncertainty.
“I don’t know if there’s really a rule, a concrete rule, that says you need to have them by this date, you need to have them by this game,” he said.“I think it’s kind of a feel. I’ve been part of teams that it’s really been a competition up until Week 1 and the line really wasn’t solidified until we made it to Week 1. So, I think there’s different ways of doing it.”