Vikings finish up offseason workouts, get rest before training camp

Mandatory mini camp is over, which also marks the end of the Minnesota Vikings offseason workout program.

The team now gets more than a month off before reporting to training camp at TCO Performance Center in late July. After two months of mini camps and organized team activities, we still don’t have a great feel for how the 2023 season will come together. But for now, players take vacations, workout on their own and make sure that in late July, it’s go-time for six months.

Here’s a few nuggets from the final day of mandatory mini camp:


T.J. Hockenson says he’ll enjoy his down time this summer by playing a lot of golf. He was a busy man at OTAs, being a primary target with Justin Jefferson absent and Adam Thielen gone. The 2023 offense will feature Alexander Mattison, Jefferson, Hockenson, K.J. Osborn, hopefully Jordan Addison and Josh Oliver, among others. The Vikings might be asked to score more, with questions on defense.

"JJ hasn’t missed a beat obviously. Just to have the dynamic that we have and the special athletes that we have on this side of the ball is incredible," Hockenson said. "You don’t get it every team you’re at and every place you go, so it’s going to be a blast when it comes to fall."


Brian Asamoah got a taste of the NFL after getting drafted in the third round by the Vikings last year. He played in 16 games, had 17 tackles and largely made an impact on special teams.

This year could be a lot different. Eric Kendricks was released, and Jordan Hicks returned on a pay cut. A real opportunity exists for Asamoah to take a starting role in Brian Flores’s defense. After being one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season, the theory is the Vikings needed to get younger and faster. Asamoah took nearly every first-team rep at linebacker on defense alongside Hicks.

"Just go out there and do what I can do with each rep I get. Just taking advantage of each opportunity with my preparation, that’s going to dictate everything," Asamoah said. "The more prepared I am to go out there and play defense, execute the call, do my job, defend, that’s how we’re going to be collectively."


A gruesome leg injury in Week 4 ended Lewis Cine’s rookie season. The former Georgia star went through a rigorous rehab process to get back on the field, and it’s paying dividends. Cine intercepted Kirk Cousins on the final day of mini camp.

"I worked my tail off to get here and I’m leaving the past to be the past. I’m in the now," Cine said.

There’s a very real chance Cine will get significant time in the secondary, depending on what looks Flores wants. He’ll be behind Harrison Smith and Cam Bynum, but will get his opportunities with a young corps. He said a lot was accomplished mentally during the offseason workout program.

The beauty of playing for a new defensive coach is everybody is learning every day.

"Freshman year all over again. I didn’t get to play last year, so I’m learning a new defense again. Everything is back to ground zero in that way," Cine said. "New defense, make sure you’re getting one percent better every day. That’s what I did the whole time."


With no Justin Jefferson, no Dalvin Cook and Jordan Addison watching most of OTAs, it was a chance for Jalen Nailor to make plays in a receiving corps that included Osborn and Hockenson. He was a sixth round pick last year out of Michigan State, and had nine catches for 179 yards and one touchdown last season.

He spent his rookie season learning from Jefferson, Hockenson, Adam Thielen and Cook.

"That whole first year I learned so much from those guys. Once I get my opportunities, I try to not make mistakes, do what I do best, try to make plays and help the team win," Nailor said. "When the ball comes to me, just try to make the play. I feel like my confidence has grown a lot."