A daily dispatch from Eagan
Setting the scene
The Vikings offense enjoyed an impressive Wednesday following Tuesday’s day off. Tight ends Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin all hauled in touchdown passes during red-zone sessions, and Rudolph and Conklin both made catches in traffic. Smith practiced in front of his father, former New Orleans Saints tight end Irv Smith Sr.
Rhodes stands out
During the offseason, coach Mike Zimmer said cornerback Xavier Rhodes needed to play up to the level of the six-year, $78 million contract extension he signed in 2017. Zimmer on Wednesday praised Rhodes’ practice habits so far in camp, at the end of a day when the 29-year-old put together an impressive showing with breakups of throws to Laquon Treadwell and Brandon Zylstra.
More time for Schutt
Defensive end Karter Schutt, whom the Vikings signed from the now-defunct Alliance of American Football, stepped into the Vikings’ No. 2 defensive unit on Wednesday, with Stephen Weatherly leaving practice early because of an injury. With Weatherly out, Schutt beat Rashod Hill for what would have been a sack in a game situation.
Bailey goes 5-for-6
Kicker Dan Bailey’s early misses attracted attention at the start of the Vikings’ camp, but the veteran hit five of his six kicks Wednesday. Bailey’s lone miss came from 40 yards out, when he pushed his attempt to the right with the wind drifting in that direction. He returned to make attempts from 47 and 52 yards to end the period.
“It’s nice Linval isn’t destroying us yet.” — Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, talking about the progress of the team’s interior linemen with nose tackle Linval Joseph still out because of offseason surgery. Joseph has appeared to be rehabbing his shoulder during the early days of Vikings practice, with fellow starter Shamar Stephen on the non-football injury list.
Wide receiver Jeff Badet returned to practice after missing much of the first week of camp with an injury. Defensive tackle Curtis Cothran remained out, and Weatherly left because of injury. The Vikings remain without Joseph, Stephen and their two players on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Mike Hughes and David Morgan.