EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings continued their mandatory, three-day minicamp Wednesday morning by practicing in helmets and shorts for approximately two hours at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
The session was Minnesota’s second of three practices this week, all of which are open to the media.
The Vikings held 10 Organized Team Activity practices over the past few weeks in Eagan. Training camp is scheduled to begin in late July at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Here are three observations from Wednesday’s session:
1. Hughes stands out
Early on in practice, Mike Hughes got beat deep early when quarterback Kirk Cousins found wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
But the Vikings rookie cornerback didn’t flinch, bouncing back to stand out during the rest of the session.
Hughes had three pass breakups in the final 90 minutes of practice, all of which came in team drills. He twice denied wide receiver Jake Wieneke from catching the ball, and also got his hand on pass intended for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.
The 2018 first-round pick was also active on special teams, splitting reps with Marcus Sherels on both punt and kickoff returns.
2. Cousins shows emotion, touch on deep ball
Cousins showed his fiery side at times Wednesday, especially in the red zone.
With the Vikings offense lined up on the 12-yard line going in, he found Diggs on an out pattern, and the receiver stretched the ball beyond the pylon in front of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes for the score.
The quarterback let out an emphatic ‘Booyah!’ and a few screams of emotion as he pumped his fist in the pocket. Diggs also displayed his emotions after the play.
Cousins also displayed strong touch on a pair of deep balls, including the one to Diggs.
The other was a perfectly lofted pass to Treadwell, who eluded Craig James and Holton Hill for a play that went for roughly 50 yards.
3. Kearse, Barr notch takeaways
It wasn’t all roses for Cousins and the Vikings offense Wednesday, as the league’s top defense had their say as well.
Minnesota worked on a handful of third-down red zone plays late in practice and forced a pair of interceptions by Cousins.
The first came when safety Jayron Kearse, filling in for an injured Andrew Sendejo, leapt in front of Diggs to corral an interception at the goal line.
Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr then got in on the action when he stepped in front of a Cousins pass toward the middle of the end zone.