Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings React to Practice in U.S. Bank Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS –Vikings players aren't used to seeing their practice catches and tackles on instant replay.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn shared a laugh with his teammates on the sideline of U.S. Bank Stadium for the team's first practice in its new home Friday morning.

"We were like, 'Man, replays at practice?' We've never seen that before," Munnerlyn said. "It definitely was fun to see that."

The stadium's high-definition LED video boards were in full function, and **players had some fun with them** prior to getting to business in practice.

"I think most of them were excited to get down here," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "When they were getting off the bus and getting in the locker room, some of them, the young guys."

While a number of Vikings players enjoyed their first look at U.S. Bank Stadium, Munnerlyn had already been inside. Even so, he was grateful for the opportunity to get onto the field in cleats and a jersey.

He's just ready to get to the real thing.

"It was fun to feel the field, to feel the [lighting] and everything," Munnerlyn said. "It definitely was fun and exciting. We got to [run around] a little bit and just enjoy this beautiful place."

Zimmer said he hoped having a practice in the stadium prior to Sunday's home game against the Chargers would help diminish distractions for the players. Zimmer said that all the newness and this year's atypical schedule could affect a team if its players aren't focused.

"Football teams, at least my teams, I like to get into a route and stick with it," Zimmer said. "Those things can become difficult unless you have guys that are focused on the job they need to do.

"Distractions are what you let them be," he added.

Zimmer allowed himself to take in some of the atmosphere within the stadium, and he said he liked the prevalence of purple throughout. The head coach said he hopes fans will bring the noise and give the Vikings a significant home-field advantage.

Wide receiver Charles Johnson doesn't believe that will be a problem.

"Our fans always do a good job, even at [the University of Minnesota] – they came out there, supported and got it loud for us. I'm sure it's going to be rockin' here – I'm excited to see what it's going to be like."

Johnson said he and his teammates spent some time anticipating what the atmosphere will be like Sunday when the Vikings face the Chargers for the first home game at U.S. Bank Stadium. He imagines it will far exceed any usual expectations for a preseason matchup.

"It's probably going to be packed in here," Johnson said. "It's going to be exciting. I think it's going to be really cool to get that feel of what it's going to be like during the season.

"It's going to be good for us to get out there and get some work done."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.