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3 Observations: Handful of Vikings Return to Practice

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings returned to practice at Winter Park on Saturday, two days after their 18-11 preseason win over the Seahawks in Seattle.

The team practiced for approximately 90 minutes in helmets and shoulder pads as they prepare for their third preseason game.

The Vikings will open U.S. Bank Stadium next Sunday as they host the San Diego Chargers at noon (CT). 

Here are three observations from Saturday's practice:

1. Back in action

A handful of Vikings players returned to practice on Saturday. Wide receiver Jarius Wright, linebacker Eric Kendricks, guard Brandon Fusco and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd all participated in various degrees. The players have not played in Minnesota's first two preseason games.

Guard Alex Boone did not practice for personal reasons, and quarterback Shaun Hill was given a "vet day," according to Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Fusco was in at right guard, while Joe Berger took Boone's usual spot at left guard with the first-team offensive line.

"I felt great and I'm happy to be back," Fusco said. "You always feel down a little bit to not be out there with your team and competing and winning ballgames.

"Part of the business at time is that you have to battle through some adversity," he added.

2. Special situations

The Vikings executed on a handful of obscure special teams situations on Saturday. The Vikings worked on getting into field goal range at the end of a half, with the special teams unit sprinting on the field to take a last-second kick.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and kicker Blair Walsh each later executed pooch punts in practice. Punter Jeff Locke also received a snap in the end zone and killed time by running around in the end zone.

3. Change of plans

Mother Nature prompted the Vikings to stay inside on Saturday as light rain fell throughout the afternoon. Minnesota used the 100-yard field in its indoor practice facility rather than the pair of fields outside.

In the past, Zimmer has sometimes had the team practice in similar elements, but with the Vikings next set to host the Chargers inside for the first football game inside U.S. Bank Stadium on Aug. 28, the coach opted for the fieldhouse.

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