EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings returned to work Sunday afternoon following a 34-25 win in the preseason opener Friday night against New Orleans.
Minnesota had Saturday off, but practiced for roughly two hours in full pads at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Of the 87 players who do not have a Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Non-Football Injury (NFI) designation, tackle Brian O’Neill, tackle Aviante Collins, running backs Ameer Abdullah and De’Angelo Henderson, defensive tackle Armon Watts, cornerback Kris Boyd and defensive end Ade Aruna did not practice. Linval Joseph did not participate in team periods.
The Vikings will practice again Monday afternoon. Minnesota’s second preseason game is Sunday night against Seattle, with kickoff at 7 p.m. (CT).
Here are three observations from Sunday afternoon’s session:
1. Beebe shows his versatility
Chad Beebe was here, there and everywhere Sunday afternoon.
Beebe’s busy day started in the passing game, as he opened up practice with a leaping catch down the right sideline from Kirk Cousins despite strong coverage from cornerback Mackensie Alexander.
Beebe later made a sliding catch near the sideline on a pass from Cousins with Alexander close by again.
The wide receiver then turned his attention to special teams, as he was the only holder in practice during field goals.
Beebe held on three snaps from Kevin McDermott as Dan Bailey was good from 33, 36 and 39 yards.
Beebe later held four times with Austin Cutting as the long snapper. Bailey was good from 41 and 43 yards, but his 45-yard try hit the right upright and his 48-yard attempt went wide right.
The 2018 undrafted free agent capped off practice by returning punts during the special teams period.
2. Defense thwarts last-second scoring chance
The Vikings first-team defense kept their counterparts off the scoreboard in the waning seconds of a game-like situation.
Minnesota’s first-team offense was down 23-17, and faced fourth-and-3 at the defense’s 42-yard line with 46 seconds left to open the drill.
The offense converted in a big way, with Cousins finding Adam Thielen down the right sideline for a 32-yard gain.
Cousins threw incomplete on first down, and hit Stefon Diggs for 8 yards on the next play before his third-down attempt was incomplete.
That set up fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 28 seconds left, but cornerback Xavier Rhodes had strong coverage on Diggs in the corner of the end zone to claim the win.
A younger Cousins and Thielen also connected after practice, with Cooper completing to Asher:
3. The return of Shamar
Vikings defensive tackle Shamar Stephen participated in full-team drills for the first time during camp on Sunday.
Stephen, who began camp on the NFI list, had been working in individual drills over the past week or so.
The defensive tackle was with Seattle in 2018 but spent the first four seasons of his career in Purple. He is known as a stout run-stuffer on the defensive line.