Packers running back Eddie Lacy has already benefited from the return of receiver Jordy Nelson.

Nelson, who missed last season because of a knee injury after 98 catches and 1,519 yards in 2014, gives Green Bay real bite down the field in its three-receiver formation, opening things for battering ram Lacy, who has "slimmed down" to 234 pounds.

"That's an emphasis this week, trying to slow down that look," Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said Wednesday.

All eyes rightfully will be on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers when the Vikings defense takes the field Sunday for the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium. And if Green Bay's season-opening victory against Jacksonville is any indication, the Packers will look to create space.

Both of Lacy's biggest gains last week came in three-receiver sets with the Jaguars spread out, including a 17-yard catch and run, in which he shed safety Johnathan Cyprien like a cheap coat, as well as a 28-yard run off right tackle.

"One of our focuses is 'nickel run' fits," Barr said. "Anytime we bring Captain [Munnerlyn], the little guy, in, we have to make sure we're sound in those fits. They like those 'queens' looks, where they put the fullback and the running back back there with three wide receivers and like to run the ball and create extra gaps."

The Vikings would like to duplicate the Jan. 3 success in the division-clinching 20-13 victory at Lambeau Field, where Lacy was held to only 34 yards on 13 carries. Stopping the run, defensive end Brian Robison said, was the key to sacking Rodgers five times in the game.

Kalil sidelined

An unusual sight came before Wednesday's practice as left tackle Matt Kalil exited the building and headed toward the parking lot with a team staffer, just as his teammates warmed up without him.

Kalil (hip) was one of four players to not practice. Others were cornerback Xavier Rhodes (knee), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee) and tight end MyCole Pruitt (knee). Kalil had been bothered by a hip injury during the preseason, but didn't reappear on the injury report until this week. Kalil has never missed a start in 67 career NFL games (including playoffs).

Limited for the Vikings were running back Jerick McKinnon (foot/lower leg) and center Nick Easton (ankle).

New to the injury report, but listed as full participants, were running back Adrian Peterson (ankle), tight end Kyle Rudolph (knee) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (ankle).

Treadwell challenged

Laquon Treadwell called his first NFL regular-season game "challenging," because the first-round rookie watched from the sideline.

Treadwell, taken 23rd overall by the Vikings this spring, hardly let a reporter finish asking when he last suited up but did not play before responding, "Never."

"It was more mentally challenging," Treadwell said Wednesday. "But you've got to go through it, create some fuel, I guess, to play harder. I don't know. I've never been through this. I'll just come in and work harder to get better."

Kendricks honored

Kendricks was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his strong outing Sunday in Tennessee.

Kendricks intercepted Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota in the third quarter, returning the pass 77 yards for a touchdown. He also had five solo tackles, including one for a loss.

He's the fifth Vikings defender to win the award in 33 regular-season weeks under coach Mike Zimmer, joining Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Terence Newman and nose tackle Linval Joseph.