Teddy Bridgewater had an up-and-down night under the lights Tuesday at the Minnesota Vikings' night practice, looking sharp early but throwing two interceptions later.
’s strong start to training camp took a bit of a hiatus Tuesday night under the lights at Blakeslee Stadium.
The Minnesota Vikings
’ quarterback has generally taken care of the ball better this year in training camp than he did in his rookie training camp last year, but Tuesday’s performance was uneven at best.
Bridgewater started the night practice strong, going 4-for-4 in a blitz period that he capped with a 45-yard connection with Jarius Wright
, and he also hit Kyle Rudolph
with a well-thrown touch pass over Harrison Smith
for a touchdown during goal-line work.
But as practice continued, Bridgewater threw two interceptions.
The first came when Bridgewater looked in the middle of the field for a crossing receiver but misfired into the arms of middle linebacker Audie Cole
, who likely would have been able to return the pick for a touchdown if it was a game situation.
“It was sweet. At linebacker, we don’t get to touch the football too often,” Cole said. “Actually, it was about a couple days ago we were sitting there and nobody could think of the last time any of us had touched the football, so it’s an exciting thing to get your hands on it. It’s what we all want to do.”
Cole admitted that the ball was thrown right at him.
“Audie’s probably got some of the best hands on the team,” safety Harrison Smith said. “Whenever he gets a chance he makes a play on the ball.”
Bridgewater’s second interception came in the two-minute drill. With time running out, he lofted a pass deep down the left sideline intended for Mike Wallace
, but Xavier Rhodes
hauled in the interception at the goal line.
“It was good being able to make a play and get the defense off the field in two-minute,” Rhodes said. “It was in Cover-2. I had to stay underneath the receiver. The ball was in the air and I just made a play on it.”
C John Sullivan remained back in the Twin Cities after the birth of his first child, John Harris Sullivan, on Tuesday morning.
Anthony Barr was the only starter the Vikings held out of practice because of injury, as continues to recover from an offseason injury. Others that didn’t practice Tuesday night: CB Josh Robinson (shoulder, PUP list), DE Scott Crichton (ankle), DT B.J. Dubose (unspecified) and WR Gavin Lutman (hamstring).
OL David Yankey walked off the field with athletic trainer Eric Sugarman after suffering an injury early in practice.
RB Adrian Peterson lowered the shoulder pads on LB Gerald Hodges during one running play, exploiting the fact that the defense isn’t supposed to tackle, and sending Hodges backwards.
Kicker Blair Walsh was 7-for-8 on his field goal attempts, making them from 33, 39, 41, 43, 46, 49 and 52 yards and missing his final attempt from 54 yards.
With Carter Bykowski and Yankey out/limited in practice, Babatunde Aiyegbusi was taking a majority of the snaps at left tackle for the second and third team. Bykowski was able to get in for one series at left tackle with the second team and a couple plays with the third team, but other than that his night was very limited as he continues to recover from the bruise/swelling on his leg.
WR Adam Thielen continues to make effort plays on special teams. The Vikings were working on on-side kicks and he made a great effort to keep the ball in bounds. The ball hit the ground, bounced over the receivers and was heading toward the boundary. Thielen was able to jump up and tip the ball back into play so a teammate could fall on it.
DT Sharrif Floyd went down after a play in the two-minute drill and stayed on the ground for a while. The training staff came out to look at him, but after talking to them Floyd was able to get up and walk off under his own power. Tom Johnson filled in at starting defensive tackle in his absence.
In addition to Rhodes’ interception, he was aggressive all night, also breaking up a pass intended for Rhett Ellison earlier in the night.
Shamar Stephen looked good during the second team’s two-minute drill. He was in the backfield on multiple plays and it appeared as though he would have had a couple sacks. He actually had to pull up and stop in front of Shaun Hill on one of the plays and let the quarterback throw the ball (hitting the quarterback isn’t allowed in practices).