EAGAN, Minn. — Now the real fun begins.
The Vikings practiced for more than two hours in helmets, shells and shorts on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon in Eagan.
Minnesota will now host Jacksonville for joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Center.
Those sessions are expected to run from 2:45-5 p.m., and there will also be a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The Vikings and Jaguars will square off at noon (CT) Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Here are three observations from Tuesday’s session:
1. Smith stingy
Harrison Smith showed his coverage skills during 1-on-1 drills against Dalvin Cook.
Smith, a 2017 All-Pro, blanketed a couple of routes by the 2017 second-round selection with Peter Pujals at quarterback. Smith undercut one route for an interception and had enough reach to knock away another pass on the opposite sideline.
Cook’s momentum took him several steps out of bounds and even onto the pavement on the east side of the practice fields. Smith waited for Cook and gave him five and a slight smile as the running back trotted back.
Cook also was denied on one other nice breakup — by defensive end Danielle Hunter —several yards down field on a wheel route. Hunter wasn’t able to get his head around to spot the ball, but reached his arms up to knock down the pass.
Johnny Stanton made a fantastic grab to cap a rep against Stephen Weatherly. The fullback did a somersault after the play.
2. No misses here
The Vikings kickers were on the money on Tuesday.
Daniel Carlson took the first attempt from 33 yards and made it, only to have Kai Forbath hit from the same distance. Carlson then drilled a 35-yard try, as Forbath followed with a make of his own.
All in all, each kicker made all six of his field goal attempts during practice, as both kickers hit from 33, 35, 39, 43, 47 and 53 yards.
A trio of Vikings quarterbacks took part in a lighthearted drill at the start of Tuesday’s session.
Cousins, Siemian and Kyle Sloter each took snaps and rolled to the right while lofting a pass downfield.
The object? Nail a trash can stationed 50 yards away.
None of the quarterbacks made it in the trash can, but each banged the side of it as the crowd at training camp grew more interested.
Cousins turned around and waved to the crowd after one of his attempts hit the can, drawing an even bigger reaction from fans.