Some familiar faces will return to the Vikings headquarters in Eagan this August, as the Broncos and Vikings are finalizing plans for joint practices before facing each other in the preseason opener.
General manager George Paton and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater — both new additions in Denver this offseason — will join the Broncos at TCO Performance Center as the Vikings host the first joint practices since 2018 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The exact practice schedules have not been set yet, according to coach Mike Zimmer.
"With three preseason games, it gives us a chance to kind of evaluate especially the younger players against other players," Zimmer said Wednesday. "See where we're at with each position and where we're at as a football team."
The Vikings and Broncos are scheduled to open the preseason at 3 p.m. on Aug. 14 at U.S. Bank Stadium, which will be the Vikings' first game played in front of fans since 2019. Without a crowd, the Vikings had the franchise's first losing record at home last season, 3-5, since 2011.
The Vikings are among 30 teams that have already gained approval to reopen their stadium to full capacity this season, said Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president of club business and league events, on a conference call with reporters last week. Single-game tickets for the Vikings-Broncos exhibition are on sale now.
The joint practices should also be played in front of fans as the Vikings are expecting to host fans again at training camp in Eagan with the state's vaccination rates climbing and COVID restrictions ending. Gov. Tim Walz ended the statewide mask mandate on May 14. The team's training camp schedule has yet to be finalized.
Familiar newcomers to the Broncos also include running back Mike Boone, who signed with Denver in free agency this spring, and former Vikings scouting executive Kelly Kleine, who was hired by Paton last month.