3 Observations: Competition Fierce Near the Goal Line

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have been hard at work for almost a week at Verizon Vikings Training Camp, but it’s now time for a break.

Minnesota practiced for more than two hours on a warm Tuesday afternoon at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

The Vikings will have their first scheduled off day of training camp on Wednesday. The team is scheduled to hold a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, followed by padded practice from 2:45-5 p.m.

Here are three observations from Tuesday’s session:

1. Offense, defense trade wins near end zone

The Vikings worked in close quarters Tuesday by spending a portion of practice inside the 5-yard line.

The first-team defense rose to the challenge early on, stuffing four straight run plays near the goal line. Safety Andrew Sendejo stopped running back Mike Boone for no gain on one of the runs, before Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Joseph ransacked a run by fullback C.J. Ham for a 3-yard loss.

The offense was successful on its fifth try on a play-action pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to Ham for a 2-yard score, and then found the end zone again on a 1-yard run by running back Latavius Murray.

The second- and third-team offense looked in fine form as Boone and running back Roc Thomas each scored twice.

2. Mac attack

Mackensie Alexander has a different approach to the nickel position this season, and it appears to be paying dividends early on.

The slot cornerback picked off Cousins on Monday in practice and would have likely returned the interception roughly 50 yards for a touchdown.

Alexander, a second-round pick in 2016, stepped in front of a deep crossing route intended for wide receiver Adam Thielen.

3. A rare sight

That’s something you don’t see every day.

The Vikings held a late-game situation Monday that gave rookie kicker Daniel Carlson the chance to tie up a 20-17 game with a 35-yard field goal.

Winds suddenly picked up on an otherwise muggy day, and Carlson’s kicked went left before slapping against the orange flag on the top of the left upright.

It was the first miss in front of the media in training camp for Carlson, a rookie from Auburn who hit on all four of his attempts yesterday.

Advertising