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3 Observations: Crisp Drives in 2-Minute Drills

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings hit the practice fields Tuesday to open a quick 2022 version of mandatory minicamp.

The mandatory minicamp is the finishing touch of the offseason program and can be up to three days for all offseason teams, but Head Coach Kevin O'Connell is opting against holding practice on Thursday.

Quarterback Nate Stanley, receivers K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Blake Proehl, tackle Vederian Lowe, guard/center Austin Schlottmann and linebacker Ryan Connelly did not partially or fully participate.  

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

1. Game simulation

The practice was officiated by a full crew, adding an element to a game situation near the end of practice.

The offense got the ball with one timeout and 1:20 remaining in the first half. The score was tied at 17.

Kirk Cousins crisply led the first unit about 50 yards down the field with completions to Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Jefferson, Jefferson and Thielen for gains of 9, 12, 7, 18 and 4 to advance the ball to the 9-yard line with 17 seconds remaining.

Thielen stopped the clock with a one-handed snag along the left sideline to cap that sequence.

It doesn't mean the drive, which didn't face a full-force pass rush from the defense, wasn't without opposition.

After the third catch in the sequence, cornerback Patrick Peterson could be heard objecting to an official awarding the sideline (and a clock stoppage) to Jefferson. Peterson tagged Jefferson "3 yards in bounds."

2. Kickers cap practice

Instead of attempting a field goal at the end of that possession, O'Connell put the second unit, led by Sean Mannion, in the same scenario.

Mannion started the drive with completions to Myron Mitchell and Dan Chisena.

He later followed by connecting with Trishton Jackson and Ben Ellefson before spiking the football at the 42-yard line of the defense with 27 seconds remaining.

Mannion then completed another pass to Jackson for a gain of 23 and used his timeout. A short pass to Bryant Koback followed, and Mannion spiked the ball again with four seconds remaining to set up a 33-yard field goal attempted by Greg Joseph.

Joseph made that kick, as well as attempts from 41, 48 and 50. He missed from 46 after Troy Dye drew a false start penalty on what would have been a 41-yard attempt.

Gabe Brkic rotated in with Joseph. The rookie's first attempt from 41 yards was wide left. Brkic made a 46-yarder but missed from 49.

3. 12 personnel in action

One of the questions in this week's Monday Morning Mailbag pertained to the Vikings depth at tight end.

Minnesota mixed in a bit of 12 personnel with tight ends Irv Smith, Jr., and Johnny Mundt on the field.

Both players have worked hard this season recovering from injuries, so seeing them on the field together was an encouraging sign as another way Minnesota can attack this season.