MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings and Kevin O’Connell liked joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers so much during training camp last year, they’re doubling down on the efforts this summer.
O’Connell announced Tuesday after the team’s second week of organized team activities that the Vikings will host the Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals each for joint practices at TCO Performance Center. The Vikings host Mike Vrabel and the Titans in the second preseason game on Saturday, Aug. 19. The next week, they finish up the preseason hosting the Cardinals and Jonathan Gannon on Saturday, Aug. 26, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"It will give us a tremendous opportunity to have really four-plus days of really good competition. I know both coach Vrabel and coach Gannon, both those guys I have personal relationships with. I know what kind of leaders they are, I know what kind of teams they’ll be bringing here, ready to make sure we get some great work," O’Connell said. "To be able to have that is a critical, critical part of our training camp formula to try to be at our best when the season rolls around."
The Vikings hosted Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers for joint practices last summer before a preseason game. It allowed for a competitive environment where most starters got enough work in that it felt like a preseason game during the week, and they didn’t play in the preseason game to avoid injury.
"We learned a lot about our football team that week. Everybody knew what type of team would be coming in from a competition standpoint. Very few coaches in this league that I have the amount of respect for that I do for Kyle Shanahan. I knew what we were getting from that organization coming in here, it was very competitive and it should push that line sometimes," O’Connell said. "We were able to get two great days of work that really helped both of our football teams."
JORDAN ADDISON SITS OUT ANOTHER PRACTICE
The Vikings held more on-field OTA work Tuesday, and first round pick Jordan Addison again largely stood and watched. O’Connell said after practice Addison is being held out as a precaution after suffering a minor injury near the end of rookie minicamp.
Safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Jordan Hicks were back on the field Tuesday after missing last week’s workouts.
JEFFERSON, HUNTER, COOK ABSENT FROM WEEK 2 OTAs
While the Vikings have a majority of their roster on the field for the second week of OTAs, at least three veterans were not on the field. Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter and Dalvin Cook were all absent from Tuesday’s workout.
Organized team activities are not mandatory. Players are not required to be at workouts until mandatory minicamp, which is June 13-14. There has been speculation that Cook could be released or traded after June 1 to save money. We’ll find out more as we get closer to mandatory minicamp.