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3 Observations: Rhodes, Griffen Impress in Training Camp Practice

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings inched closer to their first preseason game of 2018 by holding a padded practice Tuesday afternoon.

The Vikings will square off against the Broncos in Denver on Saturday night at 8 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota practiced for more than two hours on a muggy afternoon at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

The Vikings are scheduled to hold a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, followed by practice from 2:45-5 p.m.

Here are three observations from Tuesday’s session:

1. Rhodes closed

Xavier Rhodes showed why he was an All-Pro selection at two different spots in 2017.

Rhodes, who was a First-Team All-Pro cornerback, fared well in 1-on-1 drills against wide receivers when he jumped a route and picked off quarterback Kirk Cousins on an in route intended for wide receiver Stacy Coley.

The back-to-back Pro Bowl selection, and 2017 Second-Team All-Pro defensive back, picked off Cousins again later on a deep pass down the left sideline intended for wide receiver Adam Thielen in a team drill.

Rhodes had two picks in 2017 and has nine in his career.

2. ‘The Sack Daddy’

Everson Griffen looks more than ready to feast an on opposing quarterback.

Griffen, who is known as “The Sack Daddy,” would have had sacks on back-to-back plays against the first-team offense on Tuesday. Alas, the three-time Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro defensive end in 2017 isn’t allowed to touch Minnesota’s quarterbacks in practice.

Griffen set a career high with 13 sacks in 2017, including a streak of eight games with at least one sack to open the season.

3. Getting out of trouble

The Vikings offense was in a precarious spot Monday when the unit was backed up against their own goal line for six plays in a team drill.

For the most part, they succeeded in getting out of danger.

The first-team offense ran two plays, gaining 9 yards on a pass to fullback C.J. Ham and 3 yards on a run by running back Latavius Murray.

The second unit got a 3-yard run by fullback Johnny Stanton before an incomplete pass. During the third-team offense session, quarterback Kyle Sloter hit wide receiver Cayleb Jones for 7 yards, and running back Mike Boone get stopped for a short gain.

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