Rookie offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings hobbled off the field during this morning’s organized team activity practice and did not return. A league source downplayed the leg injury, describing it as “a minor issue.”
The source added that it was not related to his previous foot injury.
Clemmings was considered by many draft analysts to be one of the better offensive tackle prospects in this year’s draft. But in the lead-up to the draft, some teams had concerns about a stress fracture discovered in his foot. Clemmings dismissed questions about it, saying it was an old injury.
The Vikings took him in the fourth round and have moved him to guard.
Clemmings was lining up at right guard with the first-team offensive line before suffering the injury. He headed inside the building and stayed there.
David Yankey, a 2014 fifth-round pick who did not play as a rookie, replaced Clemmings at guard in the two-minute drill at the end of practice. Yankey also got some work at left tackle with the second-stringers, too.
The Vikings are hopeful that Clemmings will be able to secure the starting right guard spot. But an extended absence could potentially scrap that plan.
Adrian Peterson is back practicing with the Vikings. And if you were to stick a tape recorder in the face of one of his teammates and ask them if they were happy about it, chances are you would get a resounding “yes.”
Even from Jerick McKinnon, who is losing a starting spot to Peterson.
“It’s an opportunity to learn from the best running back in the game,” McKinnon said. “The physical standpoint of athletes at this level is going to take care of itself. But it’s more about the mental aspect and knowledge and stuff like that. So I just get to learn more from him, keep growing.”
It seems as if most of the Vikings players have turned the page on the Peterson saga and Peterson has transitioned back into the mix smoothly.
“That was so three days ago,” linebacker Chad Greenway playfully said when asked for his thoughts on Peterson rejoining his teammates Tuesday.
That first day of practice with sloppy for the whole team, coach Mike Zimmer remarked, because of the excitement from Peterson being back.
“His first day back on Tuesday, we made a few mistakes out here in the wind,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “At practice we were giving Coach Zim a hard time, because I said, ‘No matter what we got better today. [Number] 28 walked in the door. We’ll clean up the mistakes but we got better.’”
This week was the first time that Peterson has practiced with the Vikings since he was exiled last September. But cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said that Peterson arrived in great shape and has showed no signs of rust.
“He’s been out of football for almost a whole year, but a guy like him, though… I haven’t been around him in six months. I didn’t know he was going to come back in this type of shape,” Munnerlyn said. “He’s in unbelievable shape, like he never lost a step. And he’s out to prove a point.”
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, a starter a season ago, has joined fellow Vikings defenders Brian Robison, Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges on the sidelines at voluntary organized team activities.
Munnerlyn injured his right foot last Tuesday on the first day of OTAs, but he didn’t think the injury was significant and practiced on it all week. He said three days ago he realized the injury was worse than he thought.
“On Monday, I couldn’t run. I was like, ‘Oh man, what’s going on?’” he said.
Munnerlyn got an MRI and is now wearing a walking boot. But he said there are no plans for him to have surgery on his foot at this point. He is hopeful he’ll be healthy enough to participate in minicamp in two weeks.
“I hope so. I hope so, so I can get out of here for the summer,” he said. “If not, I’m going to stay here and rehab and be ready for training camp.”
With Munnerlyn sidelined and fellow cornerback Xavier Rhodes absent today, Terence Newman and Josh Robinson lined up on the outside with the first-team defense and second-year player Jabari Price was in the slot. Trae Waynes, the team’s top pick, worked mostly with the second unit.