SETTING THE SCENE: After heavy rain pounded Mankato overnight, the rain went away but the clouds remained, making this the coolest day of camp with temperatures in the high-70s. The Vikings were in full pads for the first time since the 2014 season finale. It was nice to hear some collisions.
BACK IN PADS: It has been a lot longer since running back Adrian Peterson was in shoulder pads, and one could tell he relished it after all his time off. On one run that Peterson bounced to the outside, he turned up the field and headed straight toward safety Robert Blanton. Blanton pulled up because coach Mike Zimmer has instructed his defenders not to hit Peterson, but Peterson put his shoulder into Blanton, much to the delight of the fans. Peterson gave Blanton a respectful fistbump as he returned to the huddle.
HARRY SITUATION: Safety Harrison Smith had a good practice. He made a sliding interception of a pass that Teddy Bridgewater threw over the head of tight end Kyle Rudolph. Smith, who was a standout running back in high school, jumped to his feet and tried to juke his way to the end zone, but he only gained about 10 yards despite running about 50 yards total in a few different directions. Two plays later, he nearly picked off Teddy again.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: After Cordarrelle Patterson got the better of rookie cornerback Trae Waynes early in practice, Zimmer spent a couple of practice periods keeping a close eye on the team’s top pick. After most of the plays that Waynes was involved in, Zimmer offered up a pointer or praise — usually the former. It seemed to help. Waynes stuck to receiver Adam Thielen as he ran a wheel route out of the slot and got a “nice job” from Zimmer for not falling for Patterson’s head fake on a curl route.
FAKED OUT: Bridgewater showed some savvy on a 3rd-and-5 play in team drills when he got Everson Griffen with a hard count. The right end nearly jumped out of his cleats and the offside penalty resulted in a first down.
WELL, WHAT IS HE?: Shaun Prater is still listed as a cornerback on the roster, but he worked as the third-team safety alongside Anthony Harris. Harris, by the way, picked off fellow rookie free agent Taylor Heinicke.
WINDY CITY: There was a stiff breeze early in practice, creating chaos during a punt return drill. The coaches want to see rookie Stefon Diggs secure the ball better on punt returns, so they gave him the majority of the reps there. He did a solid job tracking the ball and hauling it in cleanly, though he did let one bounce in front of him before jumping to snatch it.
CAMP CHATTER: “Way to go, moneybags!” — a fan to Blair Walsh after the kicker nailed a camera lift while making one of his eight field goals.
INJURY REPORT: Wideout DaVaris Daniels returned to practice after missing the first two days of camp with an undisclosed injury. Cornerback Josh Robinson and nose tackle Shamar Stephen remain sidelined.