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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Training camp Day 12 quick hits: Two-minute drill executed well

•The Vikings conducted the two-minute drill again during Sunday’s practice.

Quarterback Christian Ponder found the most success, completing all four passes he attempted, including a 20-yard connection to tight end Kyle Rudolph over linebacker Chad Greenway on a seam route. Ponder also connected with running back Adrian Peterson on a swing route, receiver Jerome Simpson, who slipped after catching a zero route and Rudolph again in the middle.

Backup quarterback Matt Cassel took a sack but otherwise had the same result, finalizing his drill with a 20-yard pass to receiver Stephen Burton, who manipulated his body to catch it between both safety Mistral Raymond and cornerback Bobby Felder in double coverage.

Third-string quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson finished his drill with a deep ball along the right sideline to rookie receiver Adam Thielen, who came down with the catch to applause from the crowd that has watched him since his days at Minnesota State-Mankato.

•The Minnesota Vikings’ one penalty on Friday tied the New England Patriots for least penalized team after the NFL preseason’s opening weekend.

But the flags flew in Sunday’s practice.

At least three penalties were called, including a pass interference on cornerback Roderick Williams and an encroachment penalty on defensive end Brian Robison and defensive tackle Kevin Williams.

Coach Leslie Frazier: “The fact we only had one penalty in an opening preseason game, that was very, very encouraging. We are always talking to our players about playing smart football, being a tough football team, being a disciplined football team.”

•Reserve center Joe Berger rejoined the team after he missed all of last week due to a death in the family.

Even with Berger’s return, the Vikings still rotated guards Seth Olsen and Jeff Baca in as the second-team center to likely open up options for John Sullivan’s backup.

•Cornerback Brandon Burton, who led the Vikings with six solo tackles and one assist during Friday’s game, had an interception off Cassel in one-on-one drills over receiver Jerome Simpson.

Simpson returned a few plays later and made an impressive catch over cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes was in position, but Simpson was able to turn around and reach over the defender’s helmet to catch the pass from Cassel.

•Defensive tackle Letroy Guion swatted a Cassel pass at the line of scrimmage and nearly came up with the interception, but was too late finding the ball.

•Linebacker Desmond Bishop returned to practice after missing last week with a groin injury. Bishop, who said he is in no more pain, flattened running back Bradley Randle as the two battled in pass coverage during Sunday’s team drills.

“I was just going for the ball, we kind of got there at the same time and I guess I’m a little bit bigger,” Bishop said. “But it feels good, hopefully I can stay on [the field]. Every time I’m out there I’m having fun. Hoping I can tighten some things up in my game.”

•Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes returned to practice after missing last week with a hamstring issue. Rhodes didn’t appear to be limited at all, taking a part in team drills where most of the contact happens.

•Safety Brandan Bishop practiced even though Frazier said he would possibly sit out with an illness.

•Second-year linebacker Audie Cole unexpectedly sat out of Sunday’s practice. There should be an update on Monday regarding his status.

•Cornerback Jacob Lacey will need arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will likely be sidelined for 2-4 weeks.

•Defensive tackle Christian Ballard sat out practice. Ballard was dealing with a groin injury last week.

•Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd sat out practice to have an MRI done on the left knee he injured in Friday’s game. Floyd said it’s fine and “nothing to be scared about.”

by Andrew Krammer

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