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Vikings Daily Digest: Zylstra Activated off PUP List, Ready to Return

New for 2019 Verizon Vikings Training Camp, Vikings Daily Digest will deliver content directly from Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center with news of the day and a few recurring elements.

EAGAN, Minn. — Brandon Zylstra is ready for a return to action.

The Vikings activated the wide receiver off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Monday morning, clearing the way for Zylstra to practice for the first time in training camp.

"It feels good to finally get off. It's something I've been waiting on for a while and I've been working hard for," said Zylstra, who participated in Monday morning's walk-through. "It's part of football and part of the game.

"I never got too discouraged about it because injuries happen," Zylstra added. "I just kept my head high and worked hard."

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski said he was glad that Zylstra will soon get a chance to be involved in practice. The wide receiver also missed mandatory minicamp with his hamstring issue.

"I'm looking forward to him being in the mix," Stefanski said. "When you're on that PUP list, you really can't get any reps, walk-through or otherwise.

"Looking forward to Brandon jumping in there and building off a good year last year and seeing what he can do," Stefanski added.

Zylstra was in attendance at practices and walk-throughs over the past few days, usually with a play sheet in hand as he stayed mentally involved.

"It's just mental reps, and seeing how guys react to different defenses these guys are throwing at us," Zylstra said. "Just trying to take as much in as I can."

Zylstra is expected to compete for a handful of roster spots behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Other members of that group include Chad Beebe, Jordan Taylor, Laquon Treadwell and a host of rookies.

The Minnesota native said he believes the ability to play all over the field could help his cause.

"Definitely just versatility," Zylstra said of his strengths. "I feel like I'm a guy that can play any [wide receiver] position out there. I just try to know every position out there."

Zylstra had one catch for 23 yards in his rookie season in 2018 and also played on nearly 60 percent of Minnesota's special teams snaps.

He said a year in the NFL was incredibly beneficial to his game, especially after coming over from the Canadian Football League.

"I've seen how the practices are run, seen how meetings are run. I know how to study better and know how to take care of my body better. All that helps," Zylstra said.

"[The transition from the CFL was] bigger than I thought it was going to be. I didn't think it was going to take that much of an adjustment since this was a game I'd played for however many years now. It honestly did take me a second to adjust, but I'm feeling more and more comfortable every day," Zylstra added. "I felt great in OTAs when I was out here. I felt like I was playing a lot more loosely, a lot more confidently. Everything started to slow down for me."

Continued Zylstra: "Up in Canada, I kind of got thrown in a starting position right away, so they kind of took me off special teams pretty quick. Last year was really my first time since high school since I'd played a lot of special teams. It was a huge learning curve for me."

View photos of the Vikings during training camp practice at TCO Performance Center on July 28.

Quote of the Day

"You know what? Fortunately, a lot of these schemes are similar to what I ran in Detroit, and that's the only perspective that I have, is Detroit. But just the want-to here is great. The guys want to get better. They understand how important establishing a run game is in terms of late in the season and getting those critical wins, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of it."

— Vikings running back Ameer Abdullah on Minnesota's run-game scheme and mindset

Tweet That

The Vikings offensive line hopes to rack up a plethora of pancake blocks this upcoming season.

But it appears one Vikings fan took that goal in literal form during Sunday afternoon's autograph session for centers and guards.

Vikings left guard Pat Elflein tweeted that a fan brought an actual box of pancake mix for some players to sign, with Elflein and guard Danny Isidora inking their names.

Elflein has moved to left guard since the Vikings drafted center Garrett Bradbury in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Isidora has primarily lined up as the right guard on the second unit.

Both linemen were drafted in 2017, with Elflein in the third round and Isidora in the fifth round.

Special guests

The Vikings hosted a group from **Dungarvin** at Monday morning's walk-through session, and dozens of players signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Dungarvin is an organization that supports people with special needs by providing a multitude of services.