Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

3 Observations: Diggs Delivers Short-Game Score, Long Gain

MANKATO, Minn. — The Vikings continued training camp Thursday with a 2-hour practice in chilly conditions on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The Vikings were in full pads for the second of four straight practice days, which will culminate in a Saturday night practice under the lights at Blakeslee Stadium.

Minnesota is scheduled to have a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and practice from 2:45-5:10 p.m. on Friday.

Here are three observations from Thursday's session:

1. Diggs finds pay dirt

A day after catching a clutch touchdown in a 2-minute drill, Stefon Diggs was back at it Thursday afternoon.

The Vikings wide receiver hauled in a touchdown from Sam Bradford early on and connected with the quarterback on a deep strike later on.

Diggs' score came during a red zone drill in which he showed shiftiness against Vikings cornerback Terence Newman. Diggs caught a 6-yard score by beating Newman on an out route before diving over the pylon for a touchdown.

The former fifth-round pick then showed off his speed by getting past Newman for a long gain in an 11-on-11 drill between the offense and defense. The play

went for roughly 50 yards as Diggs was brought down inside the 5-yard line.

Diggs had 84 catches for 903 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season.

2. Back-and-fourth battle

The Vikings only played in one overtime game in 2016, a 22-16 home loss to the Lions in Week 9.

But Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer appeared to throw his team in that situation at the end of Thursday's practice in chilly and windy conditions.

Bradford and the Vikings offense started at their own 40-yard line with 2 minutes and 40 seconds left on the clock. The unit moved past midfield and eventually faced fourth-and-9 on the opponent

s 40-yard line, but Bradford's pass to running back Dalvin Cook came up short as linebacker Anthony Barr and the first-team defense forced a turnover on downs.

Quarterback Case Keenum and the Vikings second-team offense trotted onto the field at their own 33-yard line but couldn't move the chains and were forced to punt.

Bradford and the offense earned a second chance at their own 25-yard line but were forced to punt after the drive stalled just before midfield.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke then had a shot with the second-team offense at its own 30-yard-line with just 43 seconds left. The unit kept the drive alive in part because of a pass interference call on Antone Exum before Heinicke and rookie tight end Bucky Hodges connected twice to get the ball to the opponent's 38-yard-line with 14 ticks remaining.

But any chance of a potential field goal attempt was snuffed out as safety Jayron Kearse made an athletic interception off Heinicke to end the drill.

3. Wright and Alexander match up in slot

With Laquon Treadwell not participating in practice for a second straight day, Jarius Wright took reps with the first-team's three-receiver set.

Wright worked quite a bit in the slot against second-year pro Mackensie Alexander, who has consistently taken first-team reps at nickel cornerback throughout camp.

Wright had an impressive catch on third-and-11 during a 7-on-7 passing drill, but Alexander forced an incompletion with pressure on a third-and-5 during a team drill.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.