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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Training camp Day 10 quick hits: Defensive injuries building up

Notes and observations from Day 10 of Vikings training camp

• The Mankato air is heating up, as the Minnesota Vikings are three days removed from their first preseason game.

Among other scuffles in the past week, receiver Jerome Simpson and linebacker Chad Greenway got into a shoving match after Simpson caught a pass from quarterback Christian Ponder across Greenway’s zone.

“You expect it,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “When you have been banging against one another as long as you have. Same people hitting each other day in and day out. It happens.”

“It’s about time to start hitting another colored jersey.”

• Ponder and backup quarterback Matt Cassel tore up the defense in 7-on-7 passing drills, completing 10 passes in a row between the two, the only incompletion coming off a Ponder pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph, who bobbled the ball and didn’t secure it until he was out of bounds.

• Undrafted rookie quarterback James Vandenberg had his best outing of training camp on Tuesday, finding success as he took shots downfield to receivers Joe Webb and Rodney Smith for more than 20 yards each in team drills.

• Reserve center Joe Berger was not at practice for the second consecutive day. Frazier said he is taking care of a family matter.

• Veteran guard Seth Olsen continued to take snaps with the second-team offense, splitting some snaps with rookie guard Jeff Baca.

“That’ll be a challenge for Seth [Olsen],” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “Seth is a guard by trade. He’s going to get more turns at center this week and that’s something we’ll have to work through.”

• Cornerback Josh Robinson deflected a Christian Ponder pass to receiver Greg Jennings as the receivers on the sidelines intensely lobbied for a pass interference call.

• More interceptions were dropped during Tuesday’s team drills — cornerback Bobby Felder dropped one from McLeod Bethel-Thompson as he threw behind his receiver, cornerback Chris Cook dropped an interception from Ponder after Cook jumped a Jerome Simpson route. Defensive end George Johnson leapt to deflect and nearly intercept Ponder on the following play.

• Rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd filled in for Everson Griffen as the one-technique in the nickel formation and was credited with a sack. Griffen filled in at defensive end for an injured Jared Allen.

• With a slew of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, backup middle linebacker Audie Cole received a significant amount of work with the first-team defense and also made a few run stops at the line of scrimmage in team drills.

Injury update

• Defensive end Jared Allen hurt his right ankle during Tuesday’s practice and Frazier said he’ll stick with the original plan and not play Allen during Friday’s preseason opener.

• Safety Harrison Smith tweaked his knee and sat out most of team drills. Smith’s injury did not appear serious as he jogged off the practice field. Frazier: “It doesn’t seem [serious], watching him move around, but you never know. We’re going to check to be sure.”

• Cornerback A.J. Jefferson is nursing a sore ankle and did not practice.

• Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is still healing from a hamstring injury and did not practice. Frazier: “We’ll see how he responds tomorrow, we think we’ll be able to get some practice out of him.”

• Defensive tackle Christian Ballard has a groin injury and did not practice.

• Linebacker Desmond Bishop has a groin pull and did not participate. Bishop: “Not today, but it’s getting better each day.”

• Linebacker Erin Henderson sat out team drills with a sore groin. Frazier: “[Henderson] should be fine tomorrow.”
by Andrew Krammer

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