Vikings: 5 Questions heading into organized team activities

Harrison Phillips #97 of the Minnesota Vikings on field between plays in the first quarter of the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings are entering the next phase of their offseason workout program, and start on-field 11-on-11 work at organized team activities at TCO Performance Center this week.

It’s a chance for the defense to gel under new coordinator Brian Flores, and a chance for the offense to take more steps under Wes Phillips. For the first time in Kirk Cousins’ career with the Vikings, he has the same play-caller for the second straight season.

The workouts are voluntary, until mandatory minicamp in about three weeks. So what will it all look like this week with two sessions open the media? Here’s five questions facing the Vikings at this point.


The big question here is how the Vikings look without Dalvin Cook. He’s unlikely to be in attendance as trade rumors continue to swirl, especially at the start of June. We’ll see a lot of Alexander Mattison, who returned in free agency. We’ll also get a look at Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu and rookie DeWayne McBride. This week could provide the first look at the future of the Vikings’ running back room without Cook.


The Vikings opted to take receiver Jordan Addison with the No. 23 overall pick, and by all accounts, he has impressed early on at TCO Performance Center. He’s only been through individual drills and limited action without contact, but the route running and quick cuts have already shown his potential to be a No. 2 piece to Justin Jefferson.


The Vikings have a lot of questions in the defensive backfield to address before the season kicks off in September. They have veterans in Harrison Smith and Cam Bynum back at safety, and signed defensive back Byron Murphy Jr. in free agency. But Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr. and Lewis Cine all had rookie seasons impacted by injuries. They also drafted Mekhi Blackmon and Jay Ward, but it might be asking a lot to have them contribute immediately.


Kirk Cousins beamed with confidence and optimism during earlier voluntary offseason workouts, talking about having Wes Phillips back for another year as his play-caller. It was this time last year Cousins and his teammates were adjusting to an entirely new coaching staff with Kevin O’Connell. He talked about having to be walked through plays in his helmet, and everything being muddy. In Year 2 with Phillips, it should be a lot more clear, and should allow Cousins to play with more freedom. He still put up big numbers in 2022 and tied an NFL record with eight fourth quarter comebacks despite being sacked a career-high 46 times.


We’ll hammer this point home throughout the offseason: OTAs are not mandatory, and many players workout on their own in the offseason to stay in shape. We don’t expect to see Cook, and Za’Darius Smith was traded. We don’t know if Danielle Hunter will appear, and Jefferson was not there a few weeks ago. It’s tough to glean anything from who isn’t at OTAs, until mandatory mini camp next month.

We'll get our first look on Tuesday.