By Joe Perovich I KFAN.com
Eagan, Minnesota evaded the storms many thought might occur, allowing the 2018 Minnesota Vikings training campnight practice to commence without error and injury.
Dalvin Cook was not in uniform tonight, in all likelihood for precautionary reasons—making it the first practice he missed all of training camp—but he'll still be your Day 1 first-team offense tailback. The stylistic informalities in a scrimmage like that that took place on Saturday night aren't exactly suited for starters returning from ACL injuries.
Prior to the scrimmage, Vikings first-round rookie Mike Hughes was not with the defensive backs, but instead solely working with the punt and kickoff return guys.
Wide receiver Stacy Coley dressed for night practice after missing a week of practice with a groin strain.
Offensive linemen Mike Remmers and Nick Easton were both key inactives, the latter of which wasn't as expected as the former.
Other inactives were running back Roc Thomas, wide receiver Tavarres King, and wide receiver Chad Beebe.
Offensive practice began with quarterbacks and wide receivers lining up and took snaps at the 10-yard line, and wide receivers ran routes into the end zone without defenders. From the outset of the drill, Cousins threw four wobbling consecutive passes that were essentially missed over- and underthrows.
Minutes later, defensive backs began lining up on the wideouts, and Cousins was suddenly having no problem hitting his targets, notably finding wide receiver Brandon Zylstra for noteworthy catch and end zone connection. Moments later, Zylstra put a nice move on cornerback Mackenzie Alexander—such a nice move that Zimmer immediately confronted Alexander about it when the play was over (it should be noted: Zylstra popped several times later on in the 11-on-11 scrimmage portion too).
In this same portion of pre-practice drills, wide receiver Adam Thielen ran circles around first-round rookie Mike Hughes for a spectacular catch on paydirt, and then Laquon Treadwell continued his impressive camp with an outstanding catch over his respective defender one play later.
When half of the offensive line is in flux this early in training camp, those who fill in become leading storylines because it's a s
From left to right, Minnesota's first-team offensive lineappeared: left tackle Riley Reiff, left guard Tom Compton, center Cornelius Edison, right guard Danny Isidora, and right tackle Rashod Hill. Vikings rookie Brian O'Neill played with the second-team offense at right tackle.
This offensive line melded together well from the beginning, opening up a giant hole that running back Latavius Murray shot through for a big gain. Shortly after, tight end David Morgan missed a Harrison Smith blitz and was burnt around the end. Smith pummeled quarterback Kirk Cousins for the would-be sack.
In backup quarterback Trevor Siemian's first work with the second-team offense, he completed his first pass to running back Mike Boone—who committed a false-start penalty a few plays later.
When the first-team offense and defense returned to the game, Xavier Rhodes had a nice batdown in coverage on Adam Thielen, Danielle Hunter got around the end and dialed up a would-be sack on Cousins, and then linebacker Eric Wilson gave the crowd wonderful hysteria by picking off Cousins and sending both teams sprinting the opposite way in the chasedown.
The main takeaway can only be that the collective health status of the Vikings is intact, and tomorrow's day off gives the players a chance to ease their bodies further
Camp resumes on Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. for walkthroughs, and then regular practice will take place from 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Joe Perovich is an on-air announcer and writer at KFAN, and can be reached on Twitter (@JoePerovich) or by email (JoePerovich@iheartmedia.com)