2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer said the Vikings and Jaguars coaching staffs had a good meeting last night. Before practice today, 12 players from each team are going to meet to talk about "respecting each other and doing things the right way." Zimmer said the idea for that was sparked by one of his players yesterday during a meeting with several of his core players that he regularly meets with. The emphasis? Stick to football and keep it on the field. "We really don't want to end up being on TV like some of these other things that have been going on," Zimmer said. "We just want to get out here and get some work done and try to get each of us better."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Rashod Hill said he's feeling fine after rolling his ankle in practice which caused him to leave the field momentarily. Hill stepped on the foot of the guard next to him and got "rolled over a little bit." The right tackle credits Linval Joseph for making a good play on the guard that was blocking the nose tackle. Hill says he'll have it checked out once more but feels OK.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

After moving Nick Easton to injured reserve, Minnesota signed guard Kaleb Johnson on Monday. The Rutgers product signed with Baltimore as an UDFA in 2015 and appeared on both the active roster and practice squad that season before being cut. He was then claimed by Cleveland the same season John DeFilippo was the Browns OC and had also had stints with Arizona and Kansas City. Johnson spent part of training camp with Chicago and was recently released.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer decided to experiment with Aviante Collins at guard because he wanted to see how the athletic tackle would respond to things occurring at a much quicker pace inside on passing downs. It paid off against Denver when Collins, playing left guard, burst out to block at the second level on a screen pass to Roc Thomas, which the rookie running back turned into an 78-yard touchdown run. Moving between the two positions is important for Collins' growth as a lineman "because on game day he can play almost anywhere," Zimmer said.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Vikings host Jacksonville for joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday, something Minnesota last did in 2016 with Cincinnati. Mike Zimmer said the focus is on being productive and not letting things escalate on the field like what happened between the Redskins and Jets. "It's important that our guys know we're not going to put up with any trash talking, we're not going to put up with any fighting. We're not here for that. We're here to get better. Hopefully our guys will know that and they'll have the same thing. Coach Marrone and I have talked about it. We're really all about getting work done. We don't want to get in any kind of conflicts like they had apparently in Washington. I didn't see it, but things like that."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Vikings got a good look at Aviante Collins last night, who played a team-high 79% of snaps starting at left tackle and then moving inside to left guard. Laquon Treadwell was on the field a considerable amount too (41 snaps) despite his one target/one catch. Five receivers played on special teams (Coley, Jones, Beebe, Badet, Wieneke), which Mike Zimmer emphasized as a necessity for those wanting a roster spot among a crowded group. Kendall Wright was not one of those players.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins' offensive line takeaways from the first preseason game: "What stood out to me was we ran the football. I felt we had a few explosive runs. We got behind the chains with a penalty and right away had a run up the middle with Latavius [Murray] and we got a first down. When you run the football that well and can stay ahead of the chains, your whole playbook is open to you and the pass game becomes that much easier."

4d

Cousins perfect in Minnesota debut, Vikings beat Broncos

Kirk Cousins was perfect in his first game for Minnesota on Saturday night, completing all four of his passes, including a 1-yard touchdown strike to Stefon Diggs in the Vikings' 42-28 exhibition victory over the Denver Broncos.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins looked sharp in his preseason debut. Roc Thomas made his case for the No. 3 running back job with two touchdowns. The pieces of the Vikings offense are coming together, but the offensive line is a major work in progress and had a host of up and down moments against Denver. Aside from left tackle Riley Reiff, who went out of the game after the first drive with Cousins, the Vikings got a chance to see how the rest of the first-team offensive line would respond with more in-game reps. Right guard Danny Isidora was the strongest performer up front, and it will be interesting to see if the Vikings choose to move him around this week and try him at left guard. Tom Compton and Rashod Hill struggled against the pass rush but looked good for the most part as run blockers. Aviante Collins, who took over at left tackle when Reiff's night was done, also played a bulk of the game at left guard and is an important component in this unit's depth structure.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Vikings defense looked awfully good in the first half despite giving up that 23-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter where it looked like Tashawn Bower and Eric Wilson went the wrong way in coverage. Denver only mustered one first down in the first half. We're seeing the beginnings of the defensive line rotation forming between Bower, Jaleel Johnson, David Perry, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Stephen Weatherly.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Stacy Coley had two nice catches, including a third-down grab and a 19-yard reception. He's been with the second-team offense in practice but could make a push into getting some reps with the starters. Laquon Treadwell's first half featured a lot of blocking assignments. He was only targeted one time by Trevor Siemian.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Vikings offense had an explosive first half, from Kirk Cousins' TD drive on his first and only series to Roc Thomas' two scores, which showcased the full depth of his skill set as a pass-catching back with an ability to rip off big TD runs. All good signs, but the offensive line was shaky throughout with some good and bad moments. Danny Isidora was by far the best of the back-up linemen turned fill-in starters. Tom Compton and Rashod Hill were up and down in the first half. Going to be interesting to see what the first-team OL combinations look like this week and whether they'll want to move Isidora over to left guard at all, anticipating Remmers eventually goes back to right guard.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins is done for the evening after an 8-play, 75-yard opening drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown to Stefon Diggs. Vikings pull Riley Reiff after the first series, too, and put Aviante Collins in at left tackle. Important reps coming up for Tom Compton, Cornelius Edison, Danny Isidora and Rashod Hill.

Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports
6dCourtney Cronin

Vikes' Diggs, Rhodes return after 'family' feud

The Vikings' Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes have moved on from their trash talking and subsequent benching, comparing it to nothing more than a "family" feud.

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