EAGAN, Minn. — Danielle Hunter's planned ramp-up reached another milestone Saturday when the edge rusher participated in 1-on-1 pass rush drills against tackle Olisaemeka Udoh.
The Vikings formulated a plan for Hunter with the Week 1 home game against Tampa Bay (Sept. 10) at the forefront. Minnesota also plans for joint practices against the Titans to be another opportunity for Hunter to get quality reps.
Hunter's increase in activity occurred as players returned to Vikings Training Camp presented by Omni Viking Lakes Hotel Saturday after having Friday off.
Because of a forecast that includes severe weather Sunday, the originally scheduled outdoor practice has been cancelled. Instead, the team will participate in an indoor walk-through before returning to practice outside Monday.
Not participating: Trishton Jackson, Lucky Jackson, Andrew Booth, Jr., Kene Nwangwu, Brian O'Neill and Jalen Nailor did not participate. Garrett Bradbury did not participate in team drills. O'Neill was rested after partially participating in Thursday's Night Practice, his first session since suffering an Achilles injury on Jan. 1. Austin Schlottmann handled first-team reps in place of Bradbury.
Here are three observations from Saturday's session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:
1. Options Increase at Edge Department
Although Hunter did not participate in team periods, Marcus Davenport returned to action with the "Edge Department" after having what appeared to be a reduced workload last Tuesday and not participating on Thursday.
Vikings edge rushers also welcomed undrafted rookie Andre Carter II to the fold for his first practice of training camp. After starting camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, Carter passed a physical and was cleared to practice.
The Vikings went with Davenport and Wonnum — and then Pat Jones II in Davenport's place — with the first team.
2. Recapping the receivers' day
We obviously spend a good bit of time here covering Justin Jefferson — and for plenty of deserved reasons — but here's a little different observation on the superstar.
Sure, he made some more great catches, including a diving grab down the field on a pass where the timing or depth was just a bit off, but Jefferson also showed a glimpse of how he stays so humble.
After his feet slipped on a route and took him out of the equation on a pass that ultimately went to Jordan Addison, Jefferson dropped to the turf and did several push-ups.
Receivers were initially scheduled to sign after Sunday's practice, but the weather-related shift prompted a rescheduling for Aug. 12.
Jefferson did what he could to make up for the delay by signing autographs before and after Saturday's practice for young people.
Elsewhere at the position group, K.J. Osborn reeled in a long one, and Jordan Addison continued to show elite toe-tapping ability on the sideline.
Blake Proehl made several nice catches on throws from Nick Mullens throughout the session, just two days after a rough landing at TCO Stadium. Brandon Powell also continued to make catches.
3. Hitting the ground running
The most-recent additions to the Vikings are already hitting the fields.
Running back Abram Smith, whose signing was announced Friday, took part in the practice. His first session included carrying the ball and catching it while working with the second-team offense and developmental squad.
New tackles Christian DiLauro and Jarrid Williams, who signed Thursday and took the field that night, also participated in team drills Saturday.