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Vikings to Hold 1st Padded Practice Tuesday Due to League Rule


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings had to call an audible before Monday's practice, which was expected to be the first one in full pads at training camp.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman announced just after 1 p.m. (CT) that due to a league rule, the first day in pads will now be Tuesday.

Spielman explained the confusion to the Twin Cities media.

"There was some confusion and it just got clarified," Spielman said. "I just got off the phone with the league — there is a rule that came out on June 3 that [says] we are not allowed to have a padded practice today.

"Basically, there was a side letter sent out on June 3. And what the side letter said was, for this year only and for this time only, after the 5-day acclimation period — which we completed — we had to give the players a day off, which we did on Sunday," Spielman continued. When you come back from that day off, the next practice has to be non-padded before you get into pads.

"It was in the 3,000 memos we get, so there was some confusion amongst us and the league," Spielman added. "We're not going to be the only team, but I'll take responsibility for it."

Spielman, who said it was a "very obscure rule," added that this will not affect practices going forward, meaning Saturday's practice at U.S. Bank Stadium will be in pads.

"This does not carry forward for the rest of camp. We'll practice Saturday in pads, Sunday off and we'll be back in pads Monday," Spielman said. "This was the only day in 2021 after a 5-day acclimation period, after a day off, that you have to be in non-pads. That's why you'll see us without pads today."

Spielman noted that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was not aware of the change when he went to the podium at 12:15 p.m. (CT).

The GM reiterated that the onus falls on him in a situation like this.

"There was some awareness that was just overlooked, I would say," Spielman said. "But again, that's part of it so I'll take the responsibility for it.

"I also know there are checks and balances with the league, so everyone has to sign off on your schedule at the beginning," Spielman added. "Ultimately, it falls on me and my responsibility for not remembering this memo."