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3 Observations: Kendricks Displays All-Pro Form; Mond Hits 2 TEs for TDs

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings put in another day of important work Wednesday morning at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Minnesota held the second of three scheduled minicamp practices, going for a little more than an hour for the second straight day.

Minnesota had 88 of 90 players on the roster in attendance for the mandatory session. Cornerback Jeff Gladney and kicker Riley Patterson were not present.

Defensive end Danielle Hunter, cornerback Cameron Dantzler and linebacker Chazz Surratt were present but did not go through any drills.

Linebacker Troy Dye walked off with a trainer early on in practice and watched from the sideline once he returned.

The Vikings are scheduled to hold their final minicamp practice on Thursday. Players and coaches will then get a break before training camp begins in late July.

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

1. Kendricks shines on defense

Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2019, and likely would have garnered the honor again in 2020 if he didn't miss the final five games with an injury.

He showed Wednesday that he is already in midseason form, as the seventh-year linebacker was the star of the day on defense.

Kendricks' most notable play occurred in a game-like situation at the end of practice when he intercepted Kirk Cousins. Kendricks dropped into coverage and smoothly kept going before leaping up to snag the pick about 20 yards downfield.

The former Pro Bowler also impressed during goal-to-go situations, as he bottled up Dalvin Cook on a short pass and later denied Tyler Conklin a touchdown with airtight coverage.

The always-energetic Kendricks was deservedly fired up after that play, which capped a strong sequence for the defense.

Minnesota's first-team defense kept the offense out of the end zone on four different tries from inside of the 10-yard line, with Kendricks leading the way.

View photos of the Vikings second mandatory minicamp practice at the TCO Performance Center.

2. An update on special teams

Although Wednesday's session ran for a little more than an hour, the Vikings were still able to get in some special teams work.

The highlight came on the final play of practice, as kicker Greg Joseph nailed a 50-yard attempt. It was his lone field goal try in a team drill Wednesday. Andrew DePaola was the long snapper with Britton Colquitt holding.

Ameer Abdullah, K.J. Osborn, Chad Beebe, Kene Nwangwu, Bisi Johnson and Ihmir Smith-Marsette each took punt return reps in the early portion of practice.

Abdullah and Osborn each took a rep at punt returner in team drills, with both catching the punt cleanly and gaining a few yards on their respective returns.

View photos of the Vikings first mandatory minicamp practice at the TCO Performance Center.

3. Mond shows improvement

Kellen Mond has had some ups and downs throughout the spring, which is to be expected from a rookie quarterback.

But the 2021 third-rounder showed some growth on Wednesday, firing a pair of touchdowns when the Vikings offense worked close to the end zone.

Mond, who was working with the third-team offense, found favorable targets in a pair of tight ends.

First, Mond connected with Shane Zylstra near the back of the end zone on a pass that got past safety Josh Metellus.

Mond then found Zach Davidson for a score, as the 2021 fifth-rounder had gained a little separation on cornerback Tye Smith.

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