Holton Hill’s fall could lead to the rise of friend and former University of Texas teammate Kris Boyd.

With Hill now suspended for the season’s first eight games, the Vikings need another cornerback to step up and provide depth on the 53-man roster. The most likely candidate should the Vikings stay in-house is Boyd, since the team spent a seventh-round draft pick on the 5-11, 200-pound rookie.

Another option the Vikings are exploring is Orlando Scandrick. An NFL source confirmed the team worked out Scandrick on Wednesday. Scandrick, 32, played the first 10 years of his career in Dallas before starting seven games for the Chiefs last year following his release by Washington.

Either way, Boyd wasn’t in a celebratory mood when asked about Hill, whose four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy was added to an earlier suspension for violating rules on performance-enhancing drugs.

“I was surprised, like everyone else,” Boyd said. “That’s my brother forever. No matter what, I’ll always be there for him to support and help him.”

Old man Garrett

NFL players typically don’t like being called older. But in 24-year-old rookie Garrett Bradbury’s case, it was a compliment from 30-year-old quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“He’s very mature,” Cousins said when asked whether he and the first-round draft pick are beginning to make matching protection calls.

“Just talking to him in the locker room, I just feel like I’m not talking to someone who’s right out of college. I feel like I’m talking to someone who’s about my age. I think that makes it a little easier to be on the same page.”

Realistically, there will be, as Cousins points out, some typical rookie hiccups.

“Inevitably you go against a guy like Aaron Donald and it’s like, ‘I wasn’t blocking a lot of these guys in the ACC.’ Occasionally, but not a lot,” Cousins said. “So there are always those wake-up call moments your rookie year. But I’m excited for the player he can be.”

Keeping up, per Smiths

Hang on Irv Smith Sr. Your namesake is gunning for your NFL career marks.

“We compete about a lot of different things, no matter what it is, so that’s definitely something I’ll be competing with him about,” said Irv Smith Jr., the Vikings’ second-round draft pick. “He’ll tell you he believes I’ll have a better career.”

VideoVideo (02:19): Vikings rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. has been surprised by the pace of football at the professional level, and says he likes to joke with his father about how easy he has it compared to when he played with the Saints.

Senior played tight end for the Saints, 49ers and Browns from 1993-99. Junior also plays tight end but said “not exactly” when asked if he knew dad’s NFL numbers.

“I know he had like 10 touchdowns [actually 15],” Smith Jr. said. “Hopefully I can get that in a season.”

As for the difficulty of training camp, dad wins since he played during the two-a-day era.

“He said it was rough,” Smith Jr. said.

“We got it easy now. That’s what he said. The game’s different now. They try to look out for us and our bodies. But, yeah, he said he used to have to get an IV between practices and all kinds of stuff.”

Running back claimed

The Vikings claimed off waivers De’Angelo Henderson, a 26-year-old running back with ties to assistant head coach/offensive adviser Gary Kubiak and offensive line coach/run game coordinator Rick Dennison.

Kubiak was Denver’s senior personnel adviser when the Broncos took the 5-7, 208-pound Henderson out of Coastal Carolina in the sixth round in 2017. Henderson moved on to the Jets last season and played under Dennison.

Henderson has nine carries for 32 yards and two catches for 36 years in eight NFL games.

Undrafted rookie safety Micah Abernathy was waived.


Staff writer Ben Goessling contributed to this notebook.