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Thread: Several Players Held Out of Vikings OTAs

  1. #1
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    Several Players Held Out of Vikings OTAs

    By Sam Ekstrom -
    May 25, 2016

    The Minnesota Vikings held their second day of OTAs on Wednesday, and while virtually everyone was present, not all were active. Left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd were in uniform but did not participate in team drills, while linebacker Anthony Barr observed from the sidelines in street clothes.

    Per head coach Mike Zimmer, Floyd is still dealing with a lingering injury from last season, though the coach didn’t believe it should be a problem into training camp. Floyd suffered knee and ankle injuries in 2015 that caused him to miss several games, which is likely the source of his discomfort.

    Zimmer didn’t provide any details on Kalil, though on Barr he said, “I don’t think he’s injured.”

    Whatever the case, neither Kalil nor Barr were reported to have had offseason surgery, so they should be ready for training camp barring any setbacks.

    In fact, Kalil’s absence may have given us a glimpse into the Vikings’ early pecking order on the offensive line. Former trade acquisition Jeremiah Sirles filled in for Kalil with the first team on the offensive line, while T.J. Clemmings played with the second team. Clemmings, who played right tackle in college, as well as in his rookie NFL season, is learning a new position on the left side this year and may have to re-work his way up the depth chart. For what it’s worth, draft expert Mike Mayock predicted prior to the 2015 draft that Clemmings would make a great left tackle at the pro level.

    Offensive line competition begins

    The Vikings welcomed John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt back to the fold after they missed 2015 with season-ending injuries, meaning there were plenty of bodies rotating in and out during the team drills.

    Phil Loadholt played with the first team at right tackle, along with Brandon Fusco (RG), Joe Berger (C), Alex Boone (LG) and Sirles (LT). Sullivan played on the second team along with Andre Smith (RT), Mike Harris (RG), Zac Kerin (LG) and Clemmings (LT). Of course, the Vikings will be trying numerous line combinations this offseason, meaning Sullivan could easily be elevated to the first team tomorrow, and Loadholt could switch places with Smith at right tackle.

    “I don’t want to be an instant evaluator, but Sully has really come back in better shape,” said Zimmer. “He’s looking pretty healthy to me. Phil is working into doing everything, so he’s doing good, too.”

    Too much swagger?

    Zimmer has an added challenge this season of keeping the Vikings humble after winning their first division title since 2009. The coach said he had to step in during the first session of OTAs to give the team a reality check. “We were kind of cocky and talking smack to one another,” Zimmer said.

    After playing the nobody-believes-in-us card to motivate his team last season, Zimmer may not be able to pull that off again now that many pundits are picking the Vikings to do big things. Instead of being the predator, the Vikings are now the prey as the rest of the NFC North tries to knock them off their perch.

    “Let’s not try to be someone else because everybody says we’re gonna be this, or we’re gonna be good or whatever,” said Zimmer. “Each year is totally different, and it’s important — I think part of my job is to remind them. I know they’re having fun when they’re out here, but it’s my job to remind them how we have to play in order to win games.”


    Sam Ekstrom ‎@SamEkstrom

    Moritz Bohringer had a tough day catching the ball. Three drops on four catchable balls, from what I could see.
    10:12 AM - 25 May 2016

    Sam Ekstrom ‎@SamEkstrom

    Biggest splash play today was a diving deflection by Eric Kendricks that resulted in a Captain Munnerlyn INT. Big roar from the defense.
    10:22 AM - 25 May 2016

    Sam Ekstrom ‎@SamEkstrom

    Not surprising at this point, but Charles Johnson got first-team WR reps along with Stefon Diggs. Treadwell with the 2's.
    10:07 AM - 25 May 2016

  2. #2
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    Mike Zimmer had to remind Vikings that last year doesn't matter anymore

    12:22 PM MT
    Ben GoesslingESPN Staff Writer
    http://espn.go.com/blog/minnesota-vi...matter-anymoreEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- It has seemed since the beginning of the Minnesota Vikings' offseason workout program that coach Mike Zimmer wasn't going to let the team luxuriate much longer on its 2015 NFC North title. When players returned to the team facility in April, Zimmer warned them not to be content in what happened last year, rolling out his 2016 saying, "Good is the enemy of great."
    At the start of organized team activities on Tuesday, Zimmer had to reiterate that message. It was probably in more forceful terms, if it was anything like the tone of what the coach said in one outburst during Wednesday's open OTA.

    Mike Zimmer won't allow the Vikings to rest on their 2015 accomplishments. AP Photo/Craig Lassig"Anything we did last year really doesn't matter, and I think they understand that -- most of them do," Zimmer said. "I had to remind them a little bit yesterday. We came out and we were a little bit, just not like us. We were kind of cocky, and talking smack to one another. I had to remind them a little bit who we were."
    Here are some other notes and observations from the Vikings' first open practice of the spring on Wednesday:

    • John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt were both practicing on Wednesday after returning from back and heel injuries, respectively. Sullivan was the center on the second-team offense, while Loadholt was at right tackle with the top unit. "It's nice to get those guys back; they've been working hard [in rehab]," Zimmer said. "I think the more competition you have, the better you are."

    • Sharrif Floyd, Anthony Barr, Matt Kalil, Rhett Ellison and Brandon Wattsdidn't practice on Wednesday; Zimmer said Floyd was dealing with things similar to last year, when he missed time because of knee and ankle injuries, but said he didn't think Barr was hurt. Kalil was on the field for practice, but watched most of the session with his helmet in his hand. Defensive lineman B.J. Dubose left with a lower leg injury.

    • Moritz Böhringer will presumably have better days as a receiver than he did on Wednesday. For the sake of his NFL prospects, he'll have to hope he does. The receiver dropped three passes on Wednesday (though one was on a diving attempt), and got a brief pep talk from Stefon Diggs after the third one. The drops weren't exclusive to the German receiver, though; Diggs also had one, as did undrafted free agent Troy Stoudermire.

  3. #3
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    Vikings defensive tackle B.J. Dubose tore his ACL at Wednesday's OTA

    By Matt Vensel
    MAY 25, 2016 — 5:50PM

    Second-year Vikings defensive lineman B.J. Dubose tore his anterior cruciate ligament during today’s organized team activity at Winter Park, according to a league source, and is expected to miss the entire 2016 season.

    Dubose suffered the knee injury this morning during an 11-on-11 drill, crumpling to the turf inside the team’s indoor practice facility. Moments later he was helped up and he limped away to the athletic trainer’s room.

    Dubose was a sixth-round pick last spring. He spent most of the 2015 season on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster for the playoff loss to the Seahawks. He did not play in that game.

    This spring, Dubose was competing for a roster spot and playing time behind starting defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. Prior to his injury today, Dubose lined up with the second-team defense. Veteran Tom Johnson was with the first-stringers as Floyd sat out the practice with an injury.

    Now Dubose figures to spend the 2016 season on injured reserve as ACL injuries typically require at least six months of recovery time.

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