The Vikings offensive line remains a work in progress. First-round pick Christian Darrisaw has yet to take a snap at left tackle, and the right guard rotation continued Tuesday during the first padded practice of training camp.
Offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak said he's hoping Darrisaw will return to practice shortly from a pulled groin that was surgically repaired in January. For now, backup tackle Rashod Hill is anchoring the blind side while guards Dakota Dozier and Oli Udoh have rotated series as the starting right guard.
"In a perfect world, yes, we'd love to have them ironed out," Kubiak said. "That's not our situation and probably not a lot of teams' situations."
The Vikings will ease Darrisaw into action after the injury, Kubiak added. The 23rd overall pick remains a focal point. So does the interior line, where competition will decide the right guard, and progress is expected from second-year guard Ezra Cleveland and third-year center Garrett Bradbury. All with a new offensive line coach in Phil Rauscher, who took over when camp started last week.
"Rauscher is really always stressing the interior of the pocket," Kubiak said. "That's one thing that's important to us. But overall, we've got some guys moving around to different spots. Oli is playing some guard. We've got some new draft picks, so those guys have to get on the same page."
Coaches moved Udoh, the third-year tackle, to guard, where he's competing with Dozier, last year's starter. Third-round pick Wyatt Davis was with the backups and is now injured. Cleveland and Bradbury were tasked with bulking up this offseason, which Bradbury said went well.
"That's the offseason: bigger, faster, stronger," Bradbury said. "Last year was kind of weird offseason-wise because some gyms were closed, but a lot of us were here this summer in the weight room with the nutritionist. It's very important."
'Trying to get him healthy'
Rookie quarterback Kellen Mond is still on the mend after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. His NFL education is all virtual for at least 10 days, which is the minimum quarantine required for unvaccinated players, putting the rookie's on-field development on hold for a bit.
"It's a tough circumstance for him," Kubiak said. "Mainly, I just want to make sure he's OK. He's got COVID. He's sick, so we're trying to get him healthy first, but when he gets back, we'll get him back physically [up to speed]. In the meantime, we can stress him mentally and make it hard for him, so that it's all physical when he comes back."
Four players remained sidelined at Tuesday's practice: Darrisaw (groin), center Cohl Cabral (undisclosed), Davis (undisclosed) and tight end Tyler Conklin (ankle). Hill returned as the left tackle after a one-day absence from team drills for an undisclosed reason. Receiver Dede Westbrook (knee) and nose tackle Michael Pierce (calf) remain limited.
Quarterback Jake Browning threw nearly every pass in 11-on-11 drills while new passers Case Cookus and Danny Etling, who don't have names on their jerseys, get up to speed on the playbook.
Wonnum moving around
One of the Vikings' defensive wrinkles in camp has seen defensive end D.J. Wonnum align at linebacker next to linebacker Eric Kendricks and cover shallow routes. Wonnum, a 2020 fourth-round pick, said it's not too far off from what he did at South Carolina.
"I had some experience in college," he said. "We ran a 3-4 front, so I dropped to the flat, curl, different things. I'm kind of used to it, just bringing it back out and doing it in professional football."