The Minnesota Vikings are starting to get some of their injured players back at practice as they prepare for the preseason game in which players get the most extensive playing time.
In addition to Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill returning to practice, TE Rhett Ellison was activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list, although he’s unlikely to play in Sunday’s third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. He is coming back from a torn patellar tendon in the final game of the 2015 regular season.
“Rhett’s worked extremely hard. Rhett’s a great kid. He’s a team guy through and through so it’s nice to get him back on the field,” Zimmer said. “He’s been on the side working as hard as he can and probably a little ahead of schedule.”
Ellison declined comment after Tuesday’s practice, his first one back with the team, but he did take part in some of the full-team work.
“We have great doctors here and Rhett is a tireless worker. I figured he would be back,” Zimmer said.
Left tackle Matt Kalil also returned for some full-team work, although he wasn’t in pads later in practice while T.J. Clemmings took his snaps.
In addition to those injuries, Zimmer said he has made a decision on whether RB Adrian Peterson will play on Sunday but declined to give the answer. When pressed on why he wouldn’t reveal that nugget for a preseason game, he said Sunday’s opponent, the San Diego Chargers, likely would alter their plans if they knew.
“It’s not necessary. Why is it necessary?” when asked why he wasn’t going to disclose Peterson’s status, and a reporter told Zimmer the Chargers wouldn’t care.
“They’re not going to care? Call (Chargers coach) Mike McCoy and ask him if they’re not going to care?
“Just ask him. Call him. Ask him if he cares.”
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Zimmer said he would care about Peterson’s status in the preseason if he were facing the Vikings “because I think it’s important.”
“If they knew Adrian Peterson was playing in the backfield, I think they would probably be having a lot of run blitzes and eight-man boxes and stacking the line of scrimmage,” Zimmer said.
- QB Taylor Heinicke has the walking boot off his left foot after severing a tendon in his leg prior to the start of training camp. He declined comment after practice, saying he had to go lift weights.
- Shamar Stephen and Sharrif Floyd continue to rotate time at defensive tackle next Linval Joseph as Floyd returns from a knee injury. Floyd knocked down a Hill pass at the line of scrimmage.
- Andrew Sendejo and Michael Griffin rotated at safety next to Harrison Smith with the first-team defense.
- Smith intercepted a Bridgewater pass intended for Stefon Diggs, an interception that he might have returned for a touchdown if they had played it out.
- Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr, Justin Trattou and Stephen Weatherly were among the defenders that registered at least a half a sack on Tuesday.
- Rookie WR Laquon Treadwell dropped a well-placed pass in the middle of the field as he appeared to take his eye off the ball and look for traffic.
- TE MyCole Pruitt made a great one-handed catch on a crossing route after Mackensie Alexander and Griffin collided, knocking each other off the coverage.