EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are getting closer to game action.
Minnesota practiced for roughly two hours in full pads Wednesday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. The Vikings will host the Cardinals at noon (CT) Saturday from U.S. Bank Stadium in preseason play.
Of the 87 players who do not have a Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Non-Football Injury (NFI) designation, tackle Aviante Collins, wide receiver Jeff Badet and defensive end Ade Aruna did not practice. Tackle Brian O’Neill did not participate in team periods.
Here are three observations from Wednesday afternoon’s session:
1. Cousins to Diggs for 6
Kirk Cousins found one of his favorite targets often Wednesday, including for a clutch touchdown with only seconds left on the clock.
With the Vikings offense down 17-13 in a game-like situation, the quarterback hit the wide receiver on a fade for a 13-yard score.
Cousins and the offense started with the ball on second-and-2 at the defense’s 18-yard line with just 49 seconds left. A pair of incompletions brought up fourth down before the offense was given a fresh set of downs after the defense was penalized for being offsides.
Two plays later, Diggs got to the back left corner of the end zone to haul in the pass and keep both feet in bounds despite solid coverage by Xavier Rhodes.
Cousins and Diggs connected on a deep pass earlier in practice, with the play going for 60-plus yards after the quarterback drew in the defense with a play-action fake.
2. Back-to-back turnovers
The Vikings third-team defense turned heads with turnovers on back-to-back plays late in practice.
First, defensive end Karter Schult appeared to knock the ball away from running back Ameer Abdullah, with cornerback Kris Boyd pouncing on the pigskin. Abdullah may have fumbled on his own, however, as he was injured on the play and left practice.
There was no doubt about the next play, as linebacker Greer Martini intercepted Kyle Sloter and raced more than 50 yards for a pick-sick.
Dalvin Cook was excited for Martini on the play, running with the linebacker down the sideline even though the Vikings running back had a towel around his neck.
3. Bailey goes 6-for-6
Dan Bailey didn’t miss Wednesday, nailing all six kicks he attempted in team sessions.
Matt Wile held for the first three kicks when Bailey was good from 33, 39 and 42 yards.
Chad Beebe replaced Wile later in practice for the final three attempts. Bailey was true from 44 and 46 yards before ending his day with a 50-yard attempt.