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Updated: July 30th, 2014 6:58pm
Captain Munnerlyn returns to practice, expects team drills Thursday

Captain Munnerlyn returns to practice, expects team drills Thursday

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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Audio Clip
7/27/2014
1500 ESPN's Purple Podcast episode 2: Camp observations and Adam Thielen
The second episode of 1500 ESPN’s Purple Podcast with Andrew Krammer, Derek Wetmore, Judd Zulgad and Phil Mackey. It includes an Adam Thielen interview, including telling him that he’s the early leader in the clubhouse for #MrMankato. He’s got a decent shot to earn a spot on the Vikings roster as a wide receiver and special teams player, after spending time on the practice squad last season. He played college in Mankato and now is hoping to earn his stripes in training camp on the same fields. --- Before the interview, Andrew was asked about his observations during practices and walk-throughs: How is the linebacker situation playing out? Is Chad Greenway really in consideration for the middle linebacker position? Or is he a better candidate for the weakside? How will Jasper Brinkley fit? Is he the starting MLB? How does Anthony Barr fit and what do you envision will be his role? --- We’ve seen a strange package with Harrison Smith this weekend at practice—what do you read into that? How does Everson Griffen fit in? An observation about Griffen going head-to-head with Matt Kalil. --- Norv Turner on Saturday brought up Matt Asiata as one of the most impressive players he’s seen in the early part of camp. Should we read into that? What do the coaches think of Jerick McKinnon? How will he fit on the team?
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MANKATO, Minn. - Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday. He participated in individual drills and some walk-throughs, but didn't do anything in the team portion of practice.

"I feel great and I'm excited just to see how much work they'll let me do tomorrow," Munnerlyn said. He was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Wednesday morning.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said the Vikings will get him some work in nickel packages Thursday, with full-team drills coming after that.

The plan all along, Munnerlyn said, was to do individual drills, but ease into the team portion of practice.

"Hopefully next week I can just go all the way out," he said. "I can't wait to put my hands on somebody." Hamstring injuries can get aggravated, he said, so the staff is taking his progression slowly.

Munnerlyn said he doesn't feel he's behind after missing four and a half practices, since he played a similar style of defense in Carolina before signing with the Vikings this offseason as a free agent. He missed two games (Injured Reserve) with a left hamstring injury in 2011.

"I have high expectations for myself and I'm sure there's a lot of people [who've] got high expectations for me coming into this defense. So I definitely don't want to start the season hurt and not be one hundred percent and not be myself. I think the couple of days they gave me to get my hamstring right with my trainers - they've been doing an excellent job with me, getting it stronger and stronger every day," Munnerlyn said.

"I'm ready to be the leader that the team is looking for."

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
In this story: Captain Munnerlyn
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