GREEN BAY, Wis. — The closest thing Jordy Nelson did to real football during his first practice in 364 days came at the end of the session, when he ran some half-speed routes while fellow receivers Randall Cobb and Davante Adams acted as cornerbacks during a jog-through.
Last week, Nelson actually warmed up in full pads before the preseason game against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, one day after he was activated off the PUP list.
“Obviously, we’re progressing,” Nelson said. “Obviously, we’re going to see how the body reacts; that’s how it is every time you do something, but it felt good out there. I don’t know what the plan is for this weekend or next — if it’s going to be similar to what we did last week or if it’ll be more. It’s still in debate. It’s a fluid situation of how everything reacts and how we feel.
“I mean, today felt great, so I’m sure tomorrow we’ll do a little bit more. We’ll see what the practice schedule looks like. Obviously, we’ll eventually build into team periods. We should get plenty of that by the time Jacksonville comes around. We’ll see what we do this week, but I assume, just based off normal progression, that next week we’ll probably get into some competitive periods. And then Jacksonville, I don’t have any reason to think it won’t be a normal week of preparation.”
In the two-man concept, the slot receiver (in this case, Doug Baldwin) takes his route to the flat. The outside receiver (Jermaine Kearse) runs a snag route. It’s like a slant, but instead of continuing into the middle of the field, Kearse turns and faces the quarterback.
That probably isn’t the most sustainable way forward for the Vikings’ offense, not when they want their 23-year-old passer to take charge of the offense. Peterson knows it, too, and when he has a quarterback he believes could lead the Vikings to their long-sought Super Bowl berth, the 31-year-old running back is trying to adapt.
“I know it’s going to help us out in the long run, accomplishing what we want to accomplish, being able to present different looks to the defense,” Peterson said. “That’s what I’m really excited about.”
A surprise player who impressed: Although it might sound strange, expectations were not high for former Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake making his 2016 debut. He is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury and just working the rust off. However, Wake showed an effective bull rush on his first play to get a hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. He played only a few snaps but it was a good step before the regular season.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Dolphins looked …: Competitive. The third preseason game had a regular-season feel and intensity in the first half and both sides were about even. Each starting quarterback threw an interception to the defense, but both offenses were able to move the ball. The Dolphins led 7-3 at halftime.
One reason to be concerned: A developing story on offense is the growing number of drops from starting tight end Jordan Cameron. The former Pro Bowler is leaving plays on the field at an alarming rate in preseason games and practices. Cameron had two additional drops against the Falcons, and there was one instance when Tannehill saw Cameron open but opted not to throw him the ball. Cameron didn’t have a propensity for drops last season, so it’s possible this is in his head. It is definitely something that must be addressed before the regular season.