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3 Observations: Wonnum's Pick Six Highlights U.S. Bank Stadium Practice


EAGAN, Minn. — It was a beautiful sight to see.

The Vikings practiced Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium in front of more than 5,000 energetic fans in what was just a small taste of what to expect this season.

Justin Jefferson did not practice after leaving Friday's session with an apparent injury. Anthony Barr also missed practice for the second straight day.

Adam Thielen, Christian Darrisaw and Dede Westbrook did not participate in full-team drills. Thielen spoke after practice and said he feels in good health.

Players are off Sunday and will resume practice Monday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Here are three observations from Saturday's session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud Ophthalmology Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. Wonnum makes the play of the day

D.J. Wonnum has embraced a bit of a different role in camp, as the defensive end has lined up at linebacker here and there with the first-team unit.

The 2020 fourth-round pick has also been seen dropping into coverage, something he did in college at South Carolina before joining the Vikings.

"I did that in college," Wonnum said earlier this week. "I dropped to the flat, curl, different things. I'm kind of used to it, just bringing it back out and doing it in professional football."

Wonnum looked like a natural in that skillset Saturday, as he perfectly read a Jake Browning pass in the flat. Wonnum picked off the pass and raced 31 yards for a pick six in the defensive highlight of the day at the stadium.

Browning was looking for wide receiver Blake Proehl on the pass.

2. Browning looks sharp in backup role

Yes, Browning made a mistake on the interception to Wonnum.

But he also continued his strong camp Saturday, both in passing and full-team drills as the backup quarterback behind Cousins.

Browning, who took first-team reps when Cousins missed four practices earlier this week, began the day with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Dan Chisena in 7-in-7 drills.

He later moved the second-team offense into field goal range, hitting Chisena for 20 yards and Whop Philyor for 32 yards that registered among the longest plays of the day through the air.

With one week left in camp and the preseason on the horizon, Browning appears to be set as the backup in the QB room.

3. Joseph, Patterson perfect on FG tries

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that special teams would get a lot of work at the stadium practice.

He was spot on, as the Vikings spent a good portion of practice working on the third phase of the game.

Greg Joseph and Riley Patterson each made both of their field goal attempts in team drills.

Joseph was true from 35 and 47 yards on the day, having now made 20 of 26 total field goals in team drills in camp.

Patterson was good from 36 and 49 yards out. He kicked in full-team drills for the first time in camp after being removed from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List on Thursday.

Minnesota also worked on kickoff returns Saturday, with rookie Kene Nwangwu given the first crack at returning. Ameer Abdullah also fielded a return and had a solid gain.

Abdullah, Osborn and Ihmir Smith-Marsette also rotated as the punt returners. Kris Boyd and Chisena were the first ones up at gunner.