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3 Observations: Defense Gets Picky, New Receivers Hit Field

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings returned to full pads Monday after an indoor walk-through Sunday.

The open practice included position drills, 9-on-7 run drills and 1-on-1s between receivers and defensive backs before spending a good bit of team time in the red zone.

The day seemed to include training camp work and prepping for the preseason opener at Seattle. Kickoff for that is 9 p.m. (CT) Thursday.

The Vikings are scheduled to have a Family Night Practice at TCO Stadium on Tuesday. Click here for tickets.

Not participating: Trishton Jackson, Lucky Jackson, Kene Nwangwu, Jaquelin Roy and Jalen Nailor did not participate. Andrew Booth, Jr., returned to practice in team drills. Brian O'Neill participated in drills but not team activities as he continues his ramp-up. Garrett Bradbury participated in team drills after not doing so on Saturday. It appeared that Christian Darrisaw had a lighter day, with Vederian Lowe stepping in for more snaps at left tackle. Danielle Hunter participated in 11-on-11 drills as he continued to progress through the plan developed for him.

Here are three observations from Monday's session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

View photos of players during 2023 Vikings Training Camp practice on Aug. 7 at the TCO Performance Center.

1. Picking and grinning

Twice was nice for Joejuan Williams, who cut in front of a sideline pass to rookie Jordan Addison during team drills and later cut off a red zone pass intended for K.J. Osborn.

Lewis Cine was able to pick off a tipped pass with a diving interception, and defensive lineman Ross Blacklock also snatched a ball deflected at the line.

Perhaps the most impressive interception of the day was made by linebacker Troy Dye, who showed his hops near the goal line to snare a high pass over the middle.

Akayleb Evans nearly had one, as well, but receiver Blake Proehl, who recognized he wasn't going to be able to make the catch, got his hands in to deny the ball from being intercepted.

2. Linebacker combo

In addition to making the impressive interception along the goal line, Dye put in some work with the first team defense alongside undrafted rookie Ivan Pace, Jr.

The Vikings have been rotating through personnel groupings and being very multiple in their looks on defense.

Pace has been spending more time with the first-team defense in the past week as the Vikings evaluate him.

The team released its first unofficial depth chart on Monday, with Head Coach Kevin O'Connell emphasizing the fact that positions are still being evaluated.

Elsewhere in practice Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah II took reps with the first-team defense as they have for much of camp.

3. New receivers in action

It didn't take long for freshly signed receivers N'Keal Harry and Jacob Copeland to get into the mix on Monday.

Harry signed with the team on Sunday, and Copeland joined Monday. Both participated and made catches during the session.

Kirk Cousins had a completion along the sideline to Copeland in a WR-CB matchup against Kalon Barnes.

Nick Mullens found Harry on a pass a couple of plays later, and Jaren Hall connected with the former first-round pick for a touchdown in team drills.