EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings went through a lighter day of practice Thursday, going without pads with a 90-minute session at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Minnesota will go back to full pads on Friday for what is scheduled to be a two-hour session, so the intensity will ramp back up then.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter and wide receiver Dillon Mitchell did not practice. Neither did linebacker Ben Gedeon, who is currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List.
Here are three observations from Thursday's session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud Ophthalmology Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:
1. Cousins to Jefferson for 6
A first-round pick thrived in the clutch on Thursday afternoon.
The Vikings offense ran a 2-minute drill late in Thursday's practice, and it ended with Justin Jefferson hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins with 33 seconds left.
Jefferson used his athleticism to rise above Mike Hughes and snagged the pass for the score, which tied the game at 19 in the hypothetical situation (a PAT was not attempted). The offense began on its own 37-yard line with a minute and 47 seconds on the clock.
2. Young WRs step up
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen had a "vet day" on Thursday, taking part in stretches and individual drills before getting a rest for team periods. Riley Reiff also did not partake in team drills.
Thielen's breather gave younger wide receivers a chance to step up, and a few of them shined.
Chad Beebe made a diving catch, and Alexander Hollins hauled in a 30-plus yard gain down the left sideline, outmuscling Kris Boyd on a ball from quarterback Sean Mannion.
Beebe, Hollins and Jefferson all took some reps with the first-team offense, as did wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe, who made a few nice catches throughout Thursday's practice as well.
3. Parker sees increased reps
The Vikings have the league's top safety duo in Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, but depth is certainly needed behind them.
The Vikings have a host of young players fighting for roster spots. Recently acquired Steven Parker stepped up and took some of Smith's reps next to Harris with the first-teamers.
Parker, who has also seen time with other units since his first practice Monday, spent the 2019 season with Miami. He played in 14 games with four starts and recorded a pair of interceptions.
Nate Meadors, listed as a cornerback on the roster, has also spent time at safety. Rookie safeties Josh Metellus, Brian Cole II and Myles Dorn are also in the mix.