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3 Observations: Greg Joseph Drills 2 Winning Field Goals from 50-Plus

The Vikings conducted their 8th practice of 2022 Training Camp on August 5.

EAGAN, Minn. — The players and fans in the stands cheered loudly when Greg Joseph booted a 52-yard field goal to lift Minnesota's first-team offense to a 24-23 win over the first-team defense in a situational drill Friday.

The players and crowd had more to shout about a few minutes later after Joseph's 58-yarder split the uprights to end a drive by the second-team offense.

Both kicks were attempted with five seconds remaining and capped drives that began at the offense's 35-yard line with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

After opening with a pass to Adam Thielen that was broken up by Chandon Sullivan, Kirk Cousins completed consecutive passes to K.J. Osborn for gains of 10 and 11 yards. Cousins then scrambled for a gain of 6, with officials ruling the QB made it out of bounds with 18 seconds remaining, although it appeared Eric Kendricks could have tackled Cousins in bounds.

Cousins then completed a 4-yard pass to Zach Davidson with 11 seconds remaining. He fired a deep attempt to Davidson, but Cam Dantzler had it covered on the following play. Joseph then split the uprights.

Sean Mannion worked with the second-team offense in the situational drill. He opened with completions to Ty Chandler, Trishton Jackson and Ben Ellefson to move the ball to the defense's 49-yard line.

View photos of players during 2022 Vikings Training Camp practice on August 5 at the TCO Performance Center.

Mannion scrambled on a second-and-3 after Luiji Vilain put pressure on him from the left edge. The run gained 9, and the offense used its only timeout. An incompletion to Ihmir Smith-Marsette left five seconds on the clock.

Joseph took it from there, equaling the longest distance he made from during a special teams period Wednesday.

The full-padded practice followed an off day for the players.

Cornerback Kris Boyd returned to team drills Friday and practiced with the second unit. Running back Kene Nwangwu worked out on a side field. Receiver Myron Mitchell participated in 1-on-1s but not team drills.

Receiver Blake Proehl and linebacker Ryan Connelly remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Olisaemeka Udoh took some snaps at left tackle with the first-team offense in place of Christian Darrisaw. Udoh lined up at the same spot with the second team.

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

1. Second-and-10, do it again, and again …

The hope is the Vikings offense might not face as many second-and-10s over the course of a game as it did during in Friday's practice script.

Minnesota lined up multiple times on the down and distance during a practice period that ended with a strike from Cousins to Osborn. Cousins zipped a heater, but the ball also had the precision placement of a Greg Maddux paint job. Osborn caught it in stride and zoomed for a 50-yard touchdown.

Cousins also connected on a deep one to Adam Thielen during a team period, but he just missed Justin Jefferson on another deep shot. Jefferson closed on it and dove but it went off his hands.

2. Hicks with a pick and a punch out

Head Coach Kevin O'Connell told media members when the Vikings signed Jordan Hicks how tough of a player he is to go against.

The veteran linebacker showed more of that, as well as his smooth integration into Minnesota's defense Friday when he picked off Cousins in the red zone.

He also punched the football away from Alexander Mattison earlier in the day and nearly nabbed a pass by Kellen Mond. That one bounced off Hicks' outstretched hands before Dan Chisena secured the football.

The Vikings defense has been aggressive in trying to punch out the football near the ends of plays.


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3. Taking advantage of opportunities

Players who haven't gotten as much publicity during training camp also turned in some nice moments.

Parry Nickerson recorded an interception of Mannion while covering Bisi Johnson in 1-on-1s, but Jackson later caught a touchdown against Nickerson.

Jalen Nailor bounced back from a drop against Nickerson for a touchdown against Andrew Booth, Jr.

Johnny Mundt, Ellefson and Smith-Marsette each caught touchdowns in a team red zone period.