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3 Observations: Intensity Ramps Up for Vikings in 1-on-1 Drills

EAGAN, Minn. — The pads came on, and the physicality ramped up Sunday afternoon at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

The Vikings practiced in full pads for the first time during Verizon Vikings Training Camp, and will do so again Monday before a scheduled off day on Tuesday.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer only had his offense run a single play at the goal line, but it found pay dirt as Dalvin Cook scored on a 2-yard run.

Of the 85 players who do not have a physically unable to perform (PUP) or non-football injury (NFI) designation, wide receiver Jeff Badet and defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes were the only two who did not practice Sunday.

Here are three observations from Sunday's session:

1. Head-to-head battles

Nearly the entire Vikings roster was involved in 1-on-1 drills early on in Sunday's session, giving each player a chance to test his skills against a teammate on the other side of the ball.

The wide receivers and defensive backs went at it, with the highlight being a 40-plus yard touchdown from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs, who was matched up with Xavier Rhodes for the period.

Adam Thielen pulled off a crisp route to make a sideline catch, and Chad Beebe displayed his quickness to catch a pair of passes in the drill.

Defensively, Jayron Kearse and Holton Hill and nice pass breakups.

The big boys also squared up, as offensive and defensive linemen tangled in the trenches.

LT Riley Reiff and DE Everson Griffen started the sequence with a pair of quality reps, and the units worked their way down the line. LG Pat Elflein and DT Curtis Cothran were next, followed by rookie C Garrett Bradbury vs. DT Jaleel Johnson.

Veteran RG Josh Kline then went against DT Hercules Mata'afa, and Brian O'Neill rounded out the first-team line's work with a pair of reps against Danielle Hunter.

In addition to taking a pair of reps from the edge against RT Rashod Hill, Stephen Weatherly also had a couple of successful interior rushes from a two-point stance when working against rookie G/C John Keenoy.

There were several plays that could be determined as draws, sprinkled with a few wins on each side of the line.

2. Bailey gets his kicks

Dan Bailey kicked a trio of field goals in team sessions on two different occasions, finishing his day with five makes in six tries.

Austin Cutting snapped to Matt Wile in the first session as Bailey connected from 33, 40 and 43 yards.

Kevin McDermott was the snapper the second time around, with the first try going to Thielen as the holder. Bailey's 33-yard try was no good, but he rebounded to hit from 37 and 44 yards as Wile was the holder for the final two attempts.

Bailey has made nine of 13 field goals so far in team periods.

3. Plenty of 3rd downs

Zimmer has stressed the importance of third downs all offseason, and made sure the Vikings worked on them Sunday.

In fact, the opening play of practice for the full team came on third-and-2 as tight ends Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Conklin and Irv Smith, Jr. were all on the field.

Conklin slipped behind the defense for a gain of 20-plus yards to move the chains.

The Vikings later worked exclusively on third downs in a 7-on-7 portion, with the offense picking up first downs on seven of 12 attempts.

Cousins was in for six plays and helped move the chains four times with passes to Thielen (twice), Rudolph and Dalvin Cook.

Sean Mannion converted once on three tries, and Kyle Sloter was successful on one of his two third-down passes. Jake Browning's unit moved the chains on his only rep.