Diggs, Rhodes Return After Message from Zimmer

EAGAN, Minn. — The message was simple and effective.

As talented as players can be, the team will always matter more.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer withheld Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes from practice Wednesday after the receiver and cornerback let their competitive fires cause them to bubble up at each other.

The day before, Diggs had caught a deep pass for a touchdown against Rhodes and threw the ball into the stands in celebration. Rhodes wanted another rep, but instead the pair had some verbal exchanges that continued into Wednesday. Both players were back at the walk-through session Thursday.


Presser Points: Zimmer on Easton, State of the O-Line

EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer announced Thursday that Nick Easton will be placed on Injured Reserve.

Easton’s last time participating in practice was on Friday, Aug. 3.

When asked about the specifics of Easton’s injury, Zimmer responded that “nothing really happened” but that the offensive lineman, who last year played guard but had been filling in for center Pat Elflein this spring and summer, has a bulging disc.

“But I’m not going to talk about it,” Zimmer said.


NOTEBOOK: Training Camp Bringing ‘A Lot of Competition’ Among Younger LBs

EAGAN, Minn. – Now more than a week into full-team practices at Vikings Verizon Training Camp, players are finding their rhythm and working to make an impression with coaches.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards addressed media members following Saturday morning’s walk-through session and was asked specifically about the young linebackers group vying for a shot at the team.

Edwards said “all of them” are working hard and competing every day, and then he mentioned some specifics that he’s seen from the first- and second-year players.


3 Observations: Defensive Backs Highlight 1st Full-Team Practice

EAGAN, Minn. — The gang was all there Saturday afternoon as the Vikings held their first full-team practice of Verizon Vikings Training Camp.

The team practiced in helmets and shorts for more than two hours on a picturesque afternoon at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Minnesota is scheduled to hold a walk-through from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by practice from 2:45-5 p.m. The first padded practice is expected to be Monday



Notebook: Reiff Describes Emotional Week and Effort to Move Forward

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Saturday announced the team will have co-offensive line coaches for the 2018 season, with Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko will split duties with the group following the tragic passing of Tony Sparano.

The changes brought a mix of emotions for Riley Reiff, who is entering his second season with the Vikings.

“Happy for Clancy and Janocko, but we’re still kind of mourning Tony,” Reiff said a day after serving as a palbearer. “He would have wanted us to move on and get back to grinding, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Thielen: 1st Vikings Full-Team Practice ‘Felt Pretty Good’

EAGAN, Minn. – Plenty of changes have accompanied the move of Vikings Verizon Training Camp from Mankato to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

One thing remains the same, however: Regardless of location, Adam Thielen is going to give it his all.

Evidence of Thielen’s effort showed up in grass stains on his jersey and white pants under his shorts after Minnesota’s first full-team practice of camp.


Lunchbreak: PFF Ranks Harrison Smith No. 1 Safety Heading into 2018

The Vikings held their first full-team practice of Vikings Verizon Training Camp, and Monday is scheduled to be the first session in pads.

The energy level is high at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center as players get prepped for the 2018 season. The Vikings are returning almost their entire defense from 2017, including All-Pro safety Harrison Smith.

In a recent article, analytics site Pro Football Focus ranked the NFL’s top 10 safeties heading into this season, and Smith topped the list. PFF’s Gordon McGuinness wrote:


Vikings Rookie Corners Quickly Turn to Xavier Rhodes

EAGAN, Minn. — Xavier Rhodes has joined the NFL’s upper echelon of cornerbacks.

A First-Team All-Pro as a cornerback and Second-Team defensive back in 2017, Rhodes has progressed impressively since 2013 when he was a rookie first-round pick.

Now, he’s right in the middle of the pack in the Vikings defensive backs room — at least in age.

At one end of the spectrum is Terence Newman, who will be 40 by the start of the season. At the other, 2018 first-round pick Mike Hughes and undrafted rookie Holton Hill, who are both 21.