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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Training camp Day 9 quick hits: Erin Henderson makes nice recovery

Notes and observations from Day 9 of Vikings training camp

• Middle linebacker Erin Henderson’s aggressive play in the pass game provided a highlight in Monday’s practice.

Quarterback Christian Ponder seemed to have Henderson beat when he targeted tight end Kyle Rudolph around 20 yards downfield. Rudolph nabbed the ball over Henderson’s stretched out arm, holding it for a brief moment before Henderson ripped it out and began sprinting the other direction for a fumble recovery.

Still counting as a completion to Rudolph, Ponder finished 3-for-5 in the final 11-on-11 team drill, completing two passes to receiver Greg Jennings and the one eventual turnover to Rudolph. Defensive end Brian Robison, who had two pass deflections Monday, swatted Ponder’s pass at the line for his first incompletion.

Cornerback Josh Robinson gave Ponder his second missed pass when he stripped the ball from Jennings’ hands.

“[Jennings] is a tough defend,” Robinson said. “Having a guy like that to go against in practice makes you better in the games.”

• Coach Leslie Frazier said Robinson was limited because of a hamstring injury during Saturday’s scrimmage, but Robinson said it’s a non-issue.

“I’m not sure what was said on it,” Robinson said. “But it’s just a little bother in my leg, trying to work through it.”

• Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (groin) did not participate in Monday’s practice. Safety Mistral Raymond (hamstring) suited up and appeared to be a full participant.

There has been no decision made on if Rhodes or Bishop will play in the Vikings’ preseason opener Friday against the Houston Texans at the Metrodome.

“I’m taking it day-by-day, rehabbing it every day,” Rhodes said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

• Vikings’ trainers briefly attended to reserve cornerback Brandon Burton, who was down on the field after a play in team drills. The trainers appeared to be checking on Burton’s right ankle. He was able to return to practice.

• Backup center Joe Berger was not at Monday’s walk through or practice. Frazier said he was dealing with a personal matter and the Vikings are not sure when Berger will return.

Veteran guard Seth Olsen and guard Tyler Holmes took snaps in place of Berger with the second team. Olsen had one bad snap where he shot the ball under quarterback Matt Cassel’s legs during team drills.

“It’s something I’ve done kind of at the tail end of last year with the [Indianapolis] Colts,” Olsen said. “It’s just getting the ball up. It’s a simple thing, it’s something you really shouldn’t screw up. I just have to make sure I get the ball up. Also, don’t worry about it too much. If you dwell on something, good or bad, it’s going to effect you for the next play.”

• Rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd might get a look as a nickel-team pass rusher soon, according to Frazier.

“We think he has the ability to be an inside pass rusher for us,” Frazier said. “We’ll see how Sharrif does here in the preseason and even in our practices and determine if he deserves some snaps in third-down situations. We think he’s capable of doing it, but we’ll see.”

by Andrew Krammer

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