Injury-Filled Day Dampens Exciting Defensive Developments

Day 7 of Minnesota Vikings training camp wasn’t as eventful as Day 6 when the Vikings began hosting Dalton Risner while also returning Danielle Hunter to the practice field, but it was nevertheless a big day.

The primary takeaways, unfortunately, happen to be injuries. A few players had to be held out of or leave the practice.

Minnesota Vikings Injury News

The Vikings had an event-filled practice with multiple injuries, adding players to the injury list.

  • G Chris Reed
  • EDGE Andre Carter II
  • OT Brian O’Neill
  • CB Andrew Booth Jr.
  • WR Jalen Nailor
  • WR Trishton Jackson
  • RB Kene Nwangwu
  • EDGE Marcus Davenport
  • RB Alexander Mattison

Both Chris Reed and Andre Carter II remain on their respective reserve lists, but Brian O’Neill did return to practice to work with the team in some drills. He wasn’t a full participant, so it’s clear that he is still on a separate schedule for his recovery.

We don’t know if there are injury concerns with running back Kene Nwangwu or edge rusher Marcus Davenport, but both were absent from practice. It could be a veteran rest day or something more serious.

Jalen Nailor is still progressing through his injury, and the Vikings don’t seem particularly worried.

In practice, we saw Andrew Booth Jr. walk away with the assistance of trainers and Trishton Jackson go up for a ball and land badly. He had to be carted off.

Nick Mullens, who was absent from the previous practice, returned within a day. Alexander Mattison practiced for most of the session but, late in the practice, came up limping after a catch and sat out the final moments. He indicated to the media that he was likely going to be alright.

Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart Updates

With half of the running back corps absent for a good portion of practice, we saw a heavy workload for both Ty Chandler and DeWayne McBride, who rotated throughout the first, second, and third-team units.

Mekhi Blackmon, who played with the first team mostly in red-zone drills in the previous practice, earned first-team reps throughout practice with Joejuan Williams on the second team. When this happens, Blackmon is playing in the slot while Byron Murphy plays on the outside. When Williams is in, Murphy kicks inside while Williams plays outside corner.

Edge rushers Pat Jones II and D.J. Wonnum spent significant time rotating in with the first-team defense, while both Ivan Pace Jr. and Troy Dye rotated alongside Jordan Hicks with the first-team defense.

The linebacker rotation is likely just a normal mixing of the units that will sometimes occur over the course of training camp. The edge rusher replacement was a product of missing both Davenport (absent for unknown reasons) and Hunter (still ramping up after having held himself from practicing).

Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Highlights

Despite the injuries, quite a lot went down in this practice. Brandon Powell showed out against first-team defenders in one-on-one drills. While receivers always have an advantage in these kinds of drills, Powell’s performance is nevertheless notable. Blake Proehl, who has missed significant time over the last two years because of injury, had a good day as well.

The Vikings sent a number of blitzes out of a variety of personnel sets. Alec Lewis from The Athletic counted at least three “sacks” from Harrison Smith alone. The Vikings sent linebackers, safeties, and nickel corners on blitzes throughout the team drills, which allowed the defense to catch up to the offense after the offense had some good first few practices. The defense won the situation drills at the end of practice.

While there weren’t as many exciting receiver highlights — the ones that dominate on social media — it was nevertheless a productive day for the Vikings.

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