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3 Observations: Cousins Leads Pair of Scoring Drives vs. 1st-Team Defense

EAGAN, Minn. — Practice lasted just 90 minutes Tuesday, but the Vikings were crisp in getting what they needed accomplished at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Defensive end Danielle Hunter did not practice. Neither did linebacker Ben Gedeon, who is currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List.

Wednesday is a scheduled day off for players, who will resume practice Thursday.

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

1. Captain Kirk leads the way

Much like Sunday's practice when the Vikings simulated the final 10 minutes of a game, Head Coach Mike Zimmer had his team play the fourth quarter of a game that was "tied" at 28 after three periods.

Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense moved up and down the field on a pair of possessions, with both drives leading to points.

Cousins ended the first possession with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Dalvin Cook, a sequence that was highlighted by third-down conversions to Adam Thielen and Bisi Johnson through the air. The nine-play drive spanned 70 yards.

Cousins later led another scoring drive that ended with a Dan Bailey field goal. Minnesota's first-team defense made a stand inside the 10-yard line, but Cousins was again accurate on third down on a pass to Irv Smith, Jr.

The Vikings first-team offense converted three-of-four times on third downs in the team period and also got a fresh set of downs after a pass interference penalty.

2. Big day for the tight ends

It's well-known how much Vikings Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak utilizes tight ends, and that was on full display Tuesday.

Kyle Rudolph looked good in both individual and team drills, while Smith had a handful of catches from Cousins in the aforementioned fourth-quarter period.

But the highlight of the day belonged to tight end Tyler Conklin, who had a leaping 16-yard touchdown catch on the final play of practice and was mobbed by his teammates.

Conklin had a smooth connection with quarterback Jake Browning on the day, catching multiple passes before his athletic score.

The Vikings are expected to rely on multiple tight-end sets again in 2020, and that trio is likely to be key pieces of the offense under Kubiak.

3. Colquitt gets his kicks

Tuesday was the first practice in which Britton Colquitt punted in full team drills in camp, and the veteran looked in fine form.

Colquitt focused on his close-range kicks — which come from the 50-yard line and in — and landed eight of nine punts inside the 20-yard line.

While he did have one touchback, Colquitt had seven total kicks downed or fair caught at the 15-yard line or better, and two of them were at or near the 5-yard line.

Colquitt had a gross average of 45.2 yards on 59 punts with no touchbacks in 2019, when he also set the Vikings single-season record for net average at 42.6.

The veteran punter also has seemed to help while holding for Dan Bailey on field goals in 2019, as Bailey made 27 of 29 attempts in the regular season.

Bailey made a 21-yarder Tuesday, and has now made all 13 field goal tries in camp.

View photos of Vikings players from Verizon Vikings Training Camp practice at TCO Performance Center.