A somewhat event-filled week of practice for the Vikings, not the least of which was a joint practice with the Jacksonville, whom they play on Saturday. Here a few of the most notable points to take from the week.
Line approaching a level of health
Rashod Hill, Mike Remmers and Pat Elflein all have had periods of injury since camp began, but it appears they are close to being at full strength. Remmers strapped the pads on again and reports are that Elflein will come off PUP fairly soon. As for Hill, he suffered an injury this week that has kept him off the field, but he asserted he merely rolled his ankle and should be fine.
In the meantime, these injuries have brought opportunities for young guys to get first team reps. And in that time, they have showed promise. Danny Isidora was the best lineman on the field in Saturday’s preseason game and rookie Brian O’Neill looks more and more like a future starter each day. All told, the loss of Nick Easton may not being as much a hindrance as was first assumed.
Cousins a touch passive in joint practice
The Jaguars present one of the top overall defenses in the game, and it seemed to have a moderate effect on Kirk Cousins. Cousins was a little more hesitant to push the ball downfield in team drills, checking down more often than he has against the Minnesota defense. He was also slower on reads and off-target on several occasions. It is understandable, given Jacksonville boasts not only an elite secondary but perhaps the best pass rush in the league. Plus, the practices will give Cousins a taste of what to expect against the first defense on Saturday.
Vikings rookies shine against Jaguars
One of the rookies who stood out in individual drills is one fans would expect. Mike Hughes continued his ascent with stellar coverage in one-on-ones. The other name, however, is a steady riser making his case for the sixth receiver, Chad Beebe. Beebe not only came out on top in one-on-ones with three catches, but also caught a touchdown in the back corner during seven-on-seven drills.
First defense takes it to Bortles
As shaky at times as Cousins looked, Blake Bortles was unquestionably shakier against the Vikings’ first defense. A lot of that could be attributed to the secondary’s blanket coverage on the Jaguars’ receivers, since the Jaguars generally lack star power at the position. That said, Bortles finished Wednesday completing only four of 13 passes on 24 snaps. That included an interception by Terence Newman and a should-be pick that Harrison Smith dropped.
Antwione Williams arrested for DWI
In non-football news, Chris Tomasson reported today that linebacker Antwione Williams was arrested back in May for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty last month and is currently on probation. The court documents were only made public recently, hence the delay between the incident and the report. Williams has been with the Vikings since last September and took the majority of the second team snaps at strong side linebacker. No word yet on how the guilty plea will affect his future with the Vikings.
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