Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MANKATO, Minn.—Soon, the real battle to replace Adrian Peterson will begin. The Vikings on Monday, Aug. 7, activated Latavius Murray off the physically unable to perform list (PUP) and he practiced for the first time since having surgery March 22 on his right ankle. He'll have a month to try and beat out rookie Dalvin Cook, who was listed as the first-team running back when the initial unofficial depth chart came out earlier in the day.
MANKATO—Stacy Coley has a prediction for his former Miami Hurricanes teammate Danny Isidora. "He's going to shock the world,'' Coley said. Isidora, a guard, was taken in the fifth round by the Vikings in last April's draft. Two rounds later, Minnesota selected Coley, a wide receiver. Isidora has turned some heads at Vikings training camp at Minnesota State Mankato. Having seen him up close the past four years at Miami, Coley believes he can emerge as a fixture in the NFL.
MANKATO, Minn. — When Latavius Murray and Jonathan Diaz met two decades ago, they weren't exactly fast friends. The two were classmates in kindergarten in Onondaga, N.Y., which borders Syracuse. One day, tensions boiled over. "We had a fight, and our parents said, 'Hey, you guys need to make up,' '' Murray said. "And from that moment, our relationship just kicked off. He became like a brother to me."
MANKATO, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater offered a brief thought Friday, Aug. 4, on Taylor Heinicke. "Taylor's the truth,'' Bridgewater said. Heinicke did indeed look pretty good at quarterback for the Vikings during the 2015 preseason. Then a rookie, he played in all five games, completing 27 of 41 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns in the finale at Tennessee. Heinicke's performance was so solid the Vikings had no choice to keep him on the 53-man roster all season. He was inactive for all 16 games.
MANKATO, Minn.—Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell denied Thursday, July 3, he was injured in a Monday practice fight with safety Antone Exum, saying he merely strained a muscle in his leg running pass patterns. "No," he said. "Just running routes, running, strained a muscle. We're all out there competing. It's a physical game and injuries happen." Treadwell and Exum exchanged shoves and punches and wrestled to the ground Monday after Treadwell beat Exum for a touchdown pass and then threw his arms up in celebration.
MANKATO, Minn.—The Vikings have yet to see running back Latavius Murray on the practice field. That could change soon. Murray, sidelined since March 22 surgery on his right ankle, said Thursday, Aug. 3, he had two encouraging days of individual workouts earlier in the week and believes he is close to practicing for the first time with his new team. Murray has been on the physically unable to perform list since the Vikings opened training camp July 24 at Minnesota State, Mankato.
MANKATO, Minn. — With defensive end Everson Griffen and cornerback Xavier Rhodes having recently signed lucrative contract extensions, the next Vikings player to get one could be nose tackle Linval Joseph. Minnesota has stars all over the place on defense, but safety Harrison Smith said Wednesday, Aug. 2, it all begins with Joseph. "I've said ever since he's been here, that's where I would start a defense,'' Smith said at training camp at Minnesota State, Mankato. "You have to take two guys to block him on every play.''
MANKATO, Minn. — Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell sat out practice Wednesday, Aug. 3, after apparently being hurt during a Monday practice fight with safety Antone Exum. The two players exchanged shoves and punches and wrestled on the ground after Treadwell beat Exum for a touchdown pass and threw his arms up in celebration. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't know how long Treadwell will be out.
MANKATO, Minn. — Tom Johnson knows what he must do to "get paid." The Vikings' defensive tackle, who turns 33 on Aug. 30, is entering the final year of his contract and running out of chances for one last big paycheck. There have been talks about a possible contract extension for Johnson, who will make $2.3 million in 2017, but the sides are far apart. So Johnson likely will be heading into a contract year.
MANKATO, Minn.—If the Vikings need him there, Terence Newman said he'll line up at defensive tackle. Obviously, that won't happen. But it's not out of the question that, if necessary, Newman could see duty at any of the defensive back spots. Newman, who turns 39 in September, has become Minnesota's version of a utility infielder. "Actually, you don't even call him a corner, you call him a DB because wherever he's needed you can play him,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said at training camp at Minnesota State-Mankato.