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Bleacher Report – Vikings


By: Aj Mansour |

Mankato, MN – Day thirteen from beautiful Mankato, Minnesota and the practice fields have emptied. No-huddle offense was the focus this afternoon and the results were pretty good, if you’re an fan of the offensive side of the ball. The following are a few observations from the day’s festivities.

Two days in a row for Christian Ponder and the results are promising…
Following Christian’s two-play outing in the Vikings’ first preseason game, it was explained that the coaching staff was comfortable with what they have been getting from Christian Ponder and the first team offense. Initially, I scoffed at the notion that they felt comfortable with the product on the field as the success I had seen first hand in Mankato was topsy-turvy at best. Sunday and Monday of this week have me understanding a little more of what they may have been eluding to.

We talked yesterday about Ponder’s 11-for-12 day passing in team drills and today we saw another promissing performance from the team’s number one quarterback. His passing percentage was not quite as high as Sunday’s was but Ponder appeared to be a different person out there today. He led the team with a fervor that we’ve never seen from him before. He didn’t fall back on the easy throws but was completing throws that bring along with them a higher level of difficulty and he found the endzone on a pretty regular basis.

As I mentioned above, no-huddle offense was the focus today and Ponder led the number ones straight down the field in a progression of 8-10 plays that culminated with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright on the near-side of the field. I was very encouraged with what I saw from Ponder today. Now, we continue to hope for a little more consistency that only tomorrow can bring.

Sharrif Floyd returns to practice, “feels great!”
After missing Sunday’s practice and undergoing an MRI on his injured left knee, rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd strapped on the pads and returned to practice Monday afternoon. After practice, Floyd stopped briefly to chat with the media and said, “it wasn’t no concern or anything…I wasn’t really worried about it at all…I feel great.”

Marcus Sherels leans on his football family during time of grieving…
We posted a feature earlier Monday afternoon about Marcus Sherels gutting it out and playing in last Friday’s Preseason game only a day after losing his father Ben to liver cancer (CLICK HERE to read that story). Monday afternoon, Coach Frazier confirmed Sherels’ accolades about the football family that is the Minnesota Vikings.

“The Wilf Family really prides itself on making our players feel like we’re part of a family,” Frazier said after Monday’s practice. “For them to reach out to Marcus, and Joe Berger also who suffered a loss last week, to reach out to both of those guys the way they have, both the players and the organization, it sends a strong message to all our players that we care beyond what he does on the football field. That’s important.”

DT Christian Ballard misses second straight day of practice…
Stemming from Friday’s preseason game, Christian Ballard was nursing a sore groin. Sunday saw him miss practice for that groin and Monday saw him miss a second straight day because of a personal matter. Coach Frazier confirmed that Ballard had left Mankato to deal with the personal matter and was not confident on when Ballard might return to be with the team.

Jacob Lacey has arthroscopic surgery on his knee…
As mentioned yesterday, Jacob Lacey underwent an arthroscopic scope on his knee Monday afternoon and will likely miss 2-4 weeks. No news yet on the results of the scope.

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