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Lunchbreak: CBS Previews What to Watch in Vikings-49ers Practices

Every summer, NFL teams around the league hold joint practices with another team during the preseason.

It's beneficial for both clubs, as players by that point in the summer are ready to go against someone other than teammates during practice.

The Vikings and 49ers will participate in joint practices at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center Aug. 17-18 before facing off in the teams' second preseason game Aug. 20.

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports took a look at joint practices across the NFL and highlighted position battles to watch from each one.

In Minnesota, he's intrigued by the matchup between the 49ers cornerbacks and Vikings receivers. Edwards wrote:

All anyone can talk about in the Bay Area has been the lockdown nature of free agent cornerback addition Charvarius Ward. He lines up opposite Emmanuel Moseley, who is also said to look good in camp. Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas looked promising at times last season. Darqueze Dennard and Jason Verrett (PUP list) give them more experience on the back end.

It feels as though onlookers have been waiting for Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen to have a season indicating the beginning of his downward trajectory, but he has been consistent for the better part of six years. The Minnesota State product turns 32 later this month – less than a month after me. Between Thielen and I, we have compiled 464 receptions for nearly 6,000 yards and 49 touchdowns in the NFL. The Vikings also have one of the game's best receivers in Justin Jefferson, as well as K.J. Osborn, Bisi Johnson and others.

Conversely across the border, Edwards said to keep an eye on Green Bay's cornerbacks against New Orleans' wide receivers when they practice against each other this week.

The selection of Chris Olave in the first-round has infused talent and depth into the wide receiver room. Jarvis Landry in black and gold has been a welcomed sight for New Orleans fans at training camp, as is the return of a healthy Michael Thomas. Jameis Winston is in a much better situation this year, having Tre'Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway as fourth and fifth options rather than primary targets.

Jaire Alexander has emerged as one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL. Green Bay added Eric Stokes in the first round last year, and Rasul Douglas has been up and down. Nonetheless, it should create some competitive matchups during training camp.

And also worth noting is the Colts and Lions, both of whom are slated to play the Vikings during the 2022 regular season. Edwards is watching Detroit's offensive line against Indianapolis' defensive line.

There are concerns over the future at the quarterback position in the Motor City, but the rest of the offense is in a healthy state. They boast good skill position talent with tight end T.J. Hockenson, running back D'Andre Swift and wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown, and rookie Jameson Williams (active/non-football injury). The talent has finally caught up to an offensive line that has Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Penei Sewell from left to right.

Indianapolis added well-traveled edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to a defensive line that introduced first-round pick Kwity Paye a year ago. DeForest Buckner is the elder statesmen along that front with Grover Stewart also stuffing gaps. The team is eager to see what they can squeeze from a healthy Dayo Odeyingbo as well.

To see Edwards' full breakdown of joint practices, click here.

The Athletic's stock report on Vikings

The Vikings rounded out the opening week of the preseason with a 26-20 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Arif Hasan of The Athletic broke down in a stock report some Vikings players who might be on the rise, others who might be falling and some to watch out for going into Week 2 of the preseason.

One of the players Hasan listed as trending up was defensive lineman T.Y. McGill, Jr., who recorded two sacks. Hasan wrote:

McGill has been perhaps the most consistent backup defensive lineman in camp and has shown up as a pass rusher and run defender. Against the Raiders, there was a clear drop-off in the run defense when Harrison Phillips left, but McGill helped restore it. On top of that, he notched two sacks and generated at least one additional pass disruption. An all-around high-level performance from the journeyman tackle follows a good camp showing that could result in him being defensive lineman No. 4 for the Vikings.

Hasan listed Jesse Davis as potentially trending down.

Davis opened the game at right guard, but he and the first-team offensive line only played eight snaps.

Rookie Ed Ingram, whom Hasan listed as a "riser" from Sunday's game played 30 snaps at right guard with the second team. Hasan wrote that Davis allowed "multiple pressures" against the Raiders.

The Vikings have long had problems with interior pressure and a quarterback who needs a clean pocket more than most, so getting an upgrade there is paramount. Davis' struggles here are independent of Ingram's performance, but the fact that Ingram looked good really hurts Davis' standing.

Lastly, Hasan named five players to watch as the preseason progresses, including rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah II, who was drafted by the Vikings in the third round. Hasan wrote:

Asamoah had an up-and-down day, but his highlight had to be an excellent tackle-for-loss along the sideline, the exact kind of play the Vikings drafted him for. He still has some issues with over-running plays or shooting gaps when he should be holding them, but that was nice to see. The Vikings will want more from him in coverage, but given the issues they have at backup linebacker, they'll be happy to have him.