Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Looking back on it now, coach Bruce Boudreau learned pretty much everything he needed to know about top prospect Jordan Greenway during a relatively meaningless workout this offseason. A smattering of Wild players had gathered at the new TRIA Rink last month for a light-hearted scrimmage. More than anything else, it was a chance to get the blood flowing before training camp rolled around, though for Greenway it quickly turned into a teaching moment.
EAGAN, Minn. — Aaron Rodgers took a shotgun snap during Week 6 of last season, shuffled to his right and skirted out of the pocket before flicking a pass downfield. Simultaneously, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr diagnosed the play as best he could: He stepped up and ran full speed ahead toward the Green Bay Packers quarterback. What resulted was a head-on collision. Rodgers took a clean hit from Barr just as he released the ball, and at first glace it seemed like a harmless NFL play. But the narrative quickly changed when Rodgers stayed on the turf, writhing in pain.
ST. PAUL — Wild prospect Luke Kunin still hasn't been cleared for contact more than six months after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a March 4 game against the Detroit Red Wings. Kunin, 20, was on the ice for the first day of training camp on Friday afternoon but limited in what he was actually allowed to do. He participated in a handful of drills at the start but was withheld from drills that featured more contact.
EAGAN, Minn. — Clearly, the Vikings feel a certain way about second-year receiver Stacy Coley. Need proof? They reserved a spot for the 24-year-old speedster on the active roster, even though he struggled with a nagging groin injury throughout the preseason, which caused him to miss significant time. "It means a lot," said Coley, a seventh-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft who turned heads in limited action during his rookie season. "I feel like the organization trusts me and knows what I can do. It's just a matter of going in there and showcasing my talent."
EAGAN, Minn. — Third-year safety Jayron Kearse has followed the typical trajectory of a seventh-round draft pick since joining the Vikings in 2016. After scraping his way onto the active roster, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has gotten most of his NFL playing time on special teams. But Kearse wants a bigger role this season, and he got a start on that during Sunday's 24-16 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He played 22 snaps on defense, mostly in the slot after an injury to starting cornerback Trae Waynes forced starting nickelback Mike Hughes outside.
EAGAN, Minn. — It's a steamy day in late July at the Vikings' lavish new facility in Eagan, and after some light work on the field, Kirk Cousins makes his way to the podium for a brief session with the media. After signing a whopping three-year, $84 million contract in the offseason, the Vikings quarterback decided to report to training camp a few days early, perhaps to set an example for his teammates.
EAGAN, Minn. — No question it's Super Bowl or bust for the Vikings this season, and starting with the opener Sunday, Sept. 9, against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium, everything that happens from this point forward will be judged by that standard. The answer we're all looking for is this: Did general manager Rick Spielman make the right choice breaking the bank to sign Kirk Cousins rather than sticking with a less-expensive Case Keenum?
EAGAN, Minn. — To outsiders, Matt Wile is nearly undetectable around the Vikings locker room. Besides the fact that he's unfamiliar face, claimed off of waivers Sunday, Sept. 2, to replace Ryan Quigley as the team's punter, the 26-year-old Wile is currently the the only player on the team without a nameplate above his locker. "Yeah," Wile said with a laugh. "I'm working on it."
EAGAN, Minn. — As the final minutes leading up to Sunday's kickoff count down, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will be in the locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, blasting music in preparation for the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. "I've got to play Future," Cook said with a smile when asked about his pregame playlist. "Any type of Future will get me hype. He's got hype music. Period."
EAGAN, Minn. — Just like he's done thousands of times throughout his NFL career, Terence Newman got ready for practice on Monday, Sept. 3. Only on this particular day, Newman took a different route upon his arrival at TCO Performance Center, posting up in his new office inside the facility, rather than heading to the locker room.