Access Vikings

Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

Here's what you missed at Vikings training camp Wednesday

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated August 14th at 6:51am 271158631

Linebacker Gerald Hodges was one of a few players that stood out to head coach Mike Zimmer after Friday’s preseason opener against the Raiders. He built off that performance with an interception during Wednesday’s practice.

Hodges made a nice play, leaping to make the catch on a poor decision by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in 11-on-11 period. Bridgewater attempted to throw the ball after he was sacked by defensive end Corey Wootton in the middle of the field next to a receiver where nobody could make a play on the ball. Well, Hodges did.

“He is doing a lot better,” Zimmer said on Wednesday. “Last week, he’s doing much better. He’s got good athleticism, he’s got physicality when he strikes you, he can run and I’m hopeful for him.”

SETTING THE SCENE: It was 81 degrees during practice but definitely felt hotter. Defensive linemen were drenched in sweat during individual drills at the start of practice and quenching for water before the 11-on-11 periods. There were brief moments where it cooled off due to some cloud cover, but it didn’t last long.

YOUR DAILY QUARTERBACK SMORGASBOARD: Bridgewater threw two more interceptions during practice. That’s five interceptions in the last two practices, for those keeping track at home. Along with Hodges, safety Mistral Raymond picked off Bridgewater separate 11-on-11 periods. The rookie did receive a few reps with the first team in 11-on-11, however, unlike Monday night’s practice. He did a nice job selling a play action with running back Adrian Peterson to hit Cordarrelle Patterson in stride on a big gain. Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder didn’t concede a turnover on the other hand. Cassel had a nice deep pass to Greg Jennings for about 45 yards with cornerback Marcus Sherels in coverage for the play of the day.

STEP-HEN UP: With nose tackle Linval Joseph recovering from a leg injury, rookie defensive tackle Shamar Stephen received first team reps at nose tackle. He also received praise Zimmer for his performance against the Raiders and got some valuable extra reps for a rookie continuing to develop. Stephen, who can play both the nose and three-technique spots, still mixed in with the second team as well.

CROCKER EMERGING: Safety Chris Crocker received the majority of the first team reps at strong safety  alongside Harrison Smith. The newly-acquired safety did not play in the preseason opener after he signed with the team last week. Crocker is very familiar with Zimmer’s scheme, which was the main reason why he signed with the Vikings.

MR. MANKATO UPDATE: Wide receiver Adam Thielen has made some difficult catches at training camp. He made another one on a rollout play with Bridgewater. Thielen did a nice job adjusting to a small window Bridgewater had to throw. He maintained possession of the ball while sliding before rolling out of bounds. Thielen had a rare, would-be touchdown drop however that caused him to spike the ball in frustration. The Minnesota State alum bobbled a nice ball from Bridgewater on a vertical route after beating cornerback Shaun Prater off the line of scrimmage.

RUDOLPH UNFAZED: Tight end Kyle Rudolph is probably on a short list of players you probably wouldn’t want to try and lay out over the middle given his size. While Hodges had an interception at practice, he tried just that during an 11-on-11 period. The linebacker popped Rudolph after he completed the catch with a legal, but hard, hit. Rudolph hardly moved, while Hodges went stumbled back a few yards after the contact. Lesson learned.

INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring) was dressed but did not participate in team periods. He would not disclose the reason why he was limited, but Robinson has dealt with a nagging hamstring injury throughout training camp. Marcus Sherels filled in for Robinson the nickel. Safety Robert Blanton (hamstring), tight end Chase Ford (foot) and Joseph (leg) were sidelined again. Linebacker Dom Decicco (hip) will have surgery on Thursday, Zimmer announced.

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New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

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