EAGAN, Minn. — Now the real fun begins.
The Vikings held their first full-team practice of Verizon Vikings Training Camp on Friday afternoon, practicing for more than two hours on a warm day at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
In addition to the five players who were placed on the PUP and NFI list on Friday, wide receiver Jeff Badet also did not practice.
Minnesota will hold another practice Saturday in helmets and shorts before the pads come on Sunday.
Here are three observations from Friday's session:
1. Rudolph looks fresh
Kyle Rudolph is in his ninth career training camp, which is one behind Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph for the most of any Vikings player.
As expected, the veteran tight end certainly showed up focused and ready to go for the first full-team practice, making numerous notable plays.
Rudolph stood out in 1-on-1 drills, as he twice beat a linebacker to receive passes from Kirk Cousins.
The duo kept making plays in team drills, as Cousins hit Rudolph on a pair of corner routes that beat the defense. Although Rudolph would have likely been tackled on his first catch, he still trotted roughly 40 yards to the end zone as the crowd cheered him on.
2. Kearse snags 1st INT of camp
The wait for the first interception of full-team practices didn't take long.
Safety Jayron Kearse snagged the first takeaway in team drills, as he dove to the ground and corralled a Sean Mannion pass that had been deflected.
Kearse, who has yet to record an interception entering his fourth season, celebrated with his teammates after the play.
The 2016 seventh-round pick lined up at both safety and slot cornerback with the Vikings defense in spring drills.
3. Picking up the pace
The Vikings made sure not to waste much time as training camp kicked into full swing, starting with Friday morning's walk-through.
Minnesota utilized two fields at a time in the morning session, giving the first-team offense and defense one half of a field. The second units then each took up half of the other field.
The practice also had a crisp pace, particularly in a running drill. While one unit would run a play, the next group would already be getting instructions on the next play call. Instead of spending time relaying the next play to the first group, the second group was already in action.
The up-tempo practices allowed the Vikings to get more reps in during both walk-through and practice.
Bonus: What a catch!
Carve out a spot for Josh Kline on the hands team.
The Vikings right guard made perhaps the catch of camp Friday even though most of the team was working on special teams drills.
With Kline and other offensive lineman huddled behind the punt returners, Kline cleanly caught a lengthy punt from Matt Wile, leading to rousing cheers from his teammates and the crowd.