Consecutive days of “crisp” workouts have coach Mike Zimmer feeling confident leading to the Vikings home opener. The team practiced indoors on a rainy Thursday at Winter Park wearing full pads with full participation from everyone on the active roster.
“They’re focused on the job they need to do,” Zimmer said. “They’ve been paying attention in meetings and practicing well.”
The focus is no different than what he saw last week, though.
“Last week was pretty crisp, too,” he added. “This team knows how to practice. When I watch in the practice it gives me confidence. I can only go by what I see.”
Running back Jerick McKinnon (ankle) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (knee) were the only two Vikings on Thursday’s injury report and both were listed as full participants in practice.
Twin Cities product Zach Zenner will return home this weekend as part of the Detroit Lions. The Eagan native turned standout South Dakota State running back grew up a Vikings fan and now will get a chance to play on the same field with the team he once admired.
The undrafted rookie was one of the top rushers in the NFL in the preseason with 35 carries for 183 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions rewarded Zenner with a roster spot and he had two carries for six yards and played on the kickoff coverage unit in Week 1 against San Diego.
Zimmer is well-aware of this local talent.
“He’s got some explosiveness to the hole and has some physicality to him,” Zimmer said.
If Zenner is active for Sunday’s game at TCF Bank Stadium, he’ll likely continue to play a limited role for Detroit, which was powered by another rookie running back, Ameer Abdullah, in the season opener.