EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings returned to practice Monday afternoon after an off day as the team prepares for its first preseason contest of 2018.
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 balmy afternoon at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
The Vikings are scheduled to hold a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by practice from 2:45-5 p.m.
Here are three observations from Monday’s session:
1. Toe tappers
The Vikings worked on red-zone drills Monday, and there were plenty of acrobatic catches.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen in the corner of the end zone as the All-Pro wide receiver managed to get both feet in bounds to secure the score.
Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian had a nice session, throwing touchdowns to Stacy Coley, Cayleb Jones and Jake Wieneke, with each wide receiver tapping his toes on the grass to complete the highlight play.
Quarterback Peter Pujals ended the session with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeff Badet on a crossing pattern in the middle of the end zone.
2. Coming up clutch
The Vikings team offense vs. defense ended with a situational drill that gave the offense a 26-24 lead with just under two minutes left and the ball on the opponents’ 42-yard line.
With the unit facing fourth-and-4 at the end of the game, and the defense having just one timeout remaining, a first down would essentially ice the game.
That’s exactly what happened as Cousins hit Thielen for eight yards on an out route to secure the first down. The offense was then able to run out the clock and preserve the win.
3. Mayday, mayday!
Kickers Kai Forbath and Daniel Carlson were each put in a pressure situation Monday as they were called upon for a field goal attempt with time ticking away.
The offense ran the ball with 21 seconds left before the field goal unit sprinted onto the field and hurried to get the kick away before time expired, otherwise known as a “mayday” drill.
Forbath was good from 42, and Carlson booted the ball in from 44 as time expired.
The duo kicked field goals later in practice, with Forbath making three of his four tries. Carlson was good on two of his four attempts.