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Minneapolis, Minnesota Local News

Patrick Peterson Picks a Pair

The Vikings conducted their 7th practice of 2022 Training Camp on August 3.Craig Peters

EAGAN, Minn. – P2 stood for pick two Wednesday at Vikings Training Camp.

Patrick Peterson started 1-on-1s with an interception while defending Justin Jefferson.

The video in the tweet above shows how the eight-time Pro Bowler expertly can slow down a receiver within the rules of the game.

But Peterson also has the ability to high point the football and secure the pick, which he did 28 times in the regular season with Arizona and once last season with Minnesota.

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Peterson added an interception during red zone drills and two more pass breakups during an impressive return to action. It followed Head Coach Kevin O’Connell issuing preplanned vet days to Peterson, Harrison Smith and Jesse Davis.

The Vikings practiced in full pads Wednesday (Smith rejoined the first-team defense, and Davis was back at right guard with the first unit). Players will have an off day Thursday before returning for a full-pads session Friday.

Receiver Blake Proehl and linebacker Ryan Connelly remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Proehl and Connelly worked out on a side field with running back Kene Nwangwu and cornerback Kris Boyd.

Late in practice Blake Brandel stepped in at left tackle for Christian Darrisaw, and Vederian Lowe moved up from the third team to Brandel’s spot with the second team.

Here are three observations from Wednesday’s session presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. Joseph lets it fly

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Earlier this week, Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels explained how he has the “utmost confidence” in Greg Joseph.

The kicker backed up his sport as the spotting of the ball kept going back and back and back.

Joseph started a special teams period by splitting the uprights on an extra point. From that 33-yard distance, Joseph was good from 40 on the right hash, 42 from the left hash, 43 from the left hash, 48 from the right hash, 51 from the left hash and 58 from the right hash.

Teammates got louder and louder in their reaction. The 58-yarder – and all of the kicks – had room to spare.

2. Field goal followed by a defensive stand

The special teams session followed Joseph’s successful attempt of a 39-yard field goal that capped a drive led by Kirk Cousins in a late-half situational drill.

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Cousins led Minnesota’s first-team offense against the first-team defense from the 50 to the 21 after starting the drive with only 45 seconds. He completed passes to Jefferson for a gain of 7 on first down, Adam Thielen for 6 to convert a third-and-3 and found K.J. Osborn for a gain of 16 a snap after clocking the ball.

Kellen Mond then had the opportunity to lead the second-team offense in the same scenario. Mond opened with a 5-yard completion to Zach Davidson.

The second-year QB was unable to connect with 2021 draft classmate Ihmir Smith-Marsette on a pair of throws, setting up a fourth-and-5 from the 45.

Outside linebacker Andre Mintze broke up a pass intended for Davidson.

3. Approach without Irv

The Vikings will be without Irv Smith, Jr., for quite some time as the tight end recovers from a thumb injury that required surgery Tuesday.

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Johnny Mundt and Zach Davidson were the leaders in taking reps in Smith’s absence. The position group also includes Ben Ellefson, Nick Muse and Shaun Beyer.

Davidson showed some of his athleticism on multiple routes and secured multiple catches, including a 5-yard pass from Cousins to pick up third-and-4 against a strong rush by the Vikings defense. The catches were encouraging, but linebacker Chazz Surratt forced a fumble after one of Davidson’s receptions.

When the second team was on the field for a sequence of third-down plays, Sean Mannion converted a third-and-4 and a third-and-7 with passes to Bisi Johnson before throwing to Mundt on third-and-10 shy of the sticks.

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