Notebook: Teddy Bridgewater on target during practice under the lights
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MANKATO, Minn. - Teddy Bridgewater stepped up, avoided the pressure and delivered a dart to tight end AC Leonard during Monday night's practice at Blakeslee Stadium.
You could not have asked for better weather on a July night, and Bridgewater probably couldn't have asked for a better performance than his 12-for-13 outing with the second-team offense. His only incompletion came after Leonard whiffed on the leaping grab along the hash marks.
Matt Cassel assumed first-team reps and completed 5-for-9 in team drills, while Christian Ponder saw just two throws and finished 1-for-2. Ponder's lone incompletion was a drop by receiver Andy Cruse, who now has two drops in as many practices. Jennings also had a drop to go along with a deep catch over Audie Cole, which you can watch here.
Peterson's preseason role
The annual question came up on Monday as Adrian Peterson was crowded by at least 20 media members after the team's morning walkthrough.
Are you going to play in the preseason?
"There's nothing like live," Peterson said. "But as you know I practice like it's live. So I don't know. When that time comes around, we'll talk. And hey, if they want me to go out there and play...I'll be ready to go."
Despite conveniently-worded headlines that suggested otherwise, coach Mike Zimmer didn't rule out Peterson's role in a preseason game - but the first-year head coach knows his star rusher has nothing to prove.
"He won't get many in the preseason," Zimmer said. "He won't get any in the goal-line [Monday]. I don't need to see him."
Priefer's fill-in announced soon
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer is suspended for the first three games of the regular season, with the possibility of getting that trimmed to two games at the team's discretion.
The Vikings have been discussing Priefer's replacement, which will be needed during the suspension as he won't be allowed at team facilities.
"I talked to Rick [Spielman] about it [Sunday night]," Zimmer said. "I think it's pretty close, but we will wait a few days until we announce it."
One option is assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken, who enters his second year under Priefer and his eighth with the Vikings. Spielman also said Thursday the team is looking at a possible outside, interim hire.
"Ryan has been integrated in from day one," Priefer said. "I'm going to probably let him make more decisions in the preseason games. I still don't know what we are going to do, that's up to coach Zimmer and Rick Spielman."
Cordarrelle sits out
Cordarrelle Patterson did not participate in any team or 1-on-1 contact drills, as Mike Zimmer said on Monday morning.
Patterson continues to rehab a strained foot he suffered, which he said happened while 'over training' in Los Angeles during the off period.
• Several defensive backs had pass deflections in 1-on-1 and in team drills on Monday night: Derek Cox swatted a Cassel pass to the turf targeted for Jarius Wright; Marcus Sherels leapt over the back of Kamar Jorden for a PD in the endzone and Antone Exum got the best of Jennings in 1-on-1's by knocking Ponder's ball away.
• On the flip side, Adam Thielen made a couple diving catches - one while guarded by Xavier Rhodes and another off Cox.
• Kain Colter made a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone that got a cheer from the crowd to start off practice.
• Safety Robert Blanton forced an early whistle to start off one of Cassel's team drills with a would-be sack off the edge.
• Kicker Blair Walsh converted 7-of-8 field goals from a range of 30 to 52 yards, with his lone miss coming from 44 yards out. Walsh converted from both 50 and 52 yards.
• Among the kick returners from the Jugs machine were Josh Robinson, Erik Lora, Jerick McKinnon, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, Marcus Sherels and Kain Colter. Patterson also fielded a few during warm-ups.
• Mark and Zygi Wilf were watching practice on Monday as the Vikings ownership and partners are in Mankato for an annual meeting. Players have the day off on Tuesday.