Vikings coaches focused on improving pass defense during the bye week; the team's secondary through 11 games ranks in the bottom half of the league in yardage (20th), big plays (22nd) and touchdowns (23rd).
"We spent a lot of time with it," coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday. "Spent a lot of time in the last couple of days on fundamentals, reteaching the things that we feel are important going forward in these last five ballgames."
Everything from player technique to coaching scheme was under the microscope, per Zimmer. The solution ahead of Monday night's challenge in Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, according to cornerback Xavier Rhodes, isn't that far away.
"We just got to finish," said Rhodes, who has five deflections and no interceptions this season. "That's the key.''
''That's our biggest thing is just finishing the coverage. You watch film, you watch our games, we're in coverage. We're just not finishing, not batting the ball, not picking the ball off."
Wilson — 5-0 against the Vikings in his NFL career — is one of the most proficient deep throwers in the league, which is not the ideal setup for a Vikings secondary needing to rebound.
Wilson has thrown three of the NFL's seven unlikeliest completions in 2019, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Contested passes have not fallen the Vikings' way very often this season.
"We miss the ball in the air, the receiver ends up catching it," Rhodes said. "Or we tip the ball and the receiver still ends up catching it. It's stuff like that, to the point we [need to] just knock it down. Don't tip it in the air. Be aggressive with the receiver, dive for the ball, do whatever you can."
Several Vikings limited
Nose tackle Linval Joseph jogged through warmups on his surgically repaired knee during the start of Wednesday's practice, marking the first time he participated in practice since his Week 10 surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.
Joseph did not appear to be fully practicing, so his availability Monday night in Seattle remains unclear.
The Vikings are not required to submit an injury report until Thursday, but it appeared receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) was also not fully practicing Wednesday. He ran through receiver drills without his helmet during the 15 minutes open to reporters. Linebacker Ben Gedeon (concussion) was the only player not spotted at practice.
Safeties Harrison Smith (hamstring) and Anthony Harris (groin) were limited after running through warmups. Jayron Kearse and Andrew Sendejo took walk-through reps with the first-team defense.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was passed up for the Vikings head coaching job in 1992, when the late Dennis Green was hired. Carroll was asked Wednesday on a conference call with Twin Cities media if he'd ever thought what if he had been hired in Minnesota, where he coached Vikings defensive backs from 1985 to 1989.
"At the time, I loved being there, playing there and coaching there," Carroll said.
"It never really got close to getting a job there, but in my mind that would've been the ideal place to go because of following the legacy of Bud [Grant], Jerry Burns and all they'd done."
Don't lose your grip
The Seahawks defense leads the NFL with 14 fumble recoveries, which has caught the attention of running back Dalvin Cook and the Vikings offense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins and kick returner Ameer Abdullah lost fumbles in the Nov. 17 win against the Broncos.
"They're just one of those teams," Cook said. "They know how to tackle the football. You have to lock that thing up."