MANKATO, Minn. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Minnesota Vikings training camp:
Monday evening's practice was a rough one for Teddy Bridgewater. The rookie quarterback threw a pair of interceptions in 11-on-11 drills, to Audie Cole and Shaun Prater, and was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn in a 7-on-7 drill. Bridgewater's interception to Prater went off running back Jerick McKinnon's hands, and wide receiver Greg Jennings said the interceptions were partly a function of Bridgewater working on some new things in the offense, but Bridgewater had another pass that Derek Cox nearly picked off and misfired on a couple other throws. He finished the night 14-for-22 with two interceptions in full-team drills. Two of those incompletions were spikes to stop the clock in a two-minute drill. Matt Cassel was 14-for-23 (Adrian Peterson dropped one pass, and Sharrif Floyd broke up another), and Christian Ponder went 4-for-6, including a spike in a two-minute drill.
Chris Crocker began the night in the first-team defense alongside Harrison Smith at safety, and we could be seeing plenty more of him there; coach Mike Zimmer said Crocker might start in the Vikings' second preseason game on Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals. "I've seen him for a few days," Zimmer said. "I haven't seen him enough to say he's ready to do this or ready to do that. He's very smart. He understands the system. He can help everybody else." Zimmer added "it's hurting (Robert) Blanton that he's not out there." The safety has been out since last week with a hamstring injury.
The Vikings used Anthony Barr as a defensive end in their nickel package on Monday night, lining him up at right end while moving Everson Griffen inside. Griffen often rushed from the tackle position on passing downs last year, and the Vikings' nickel defense had a front four of Barr, Floyd, Griffen and Brian Robison on Monday. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see the Vikings head into the season with that defensive line in nickel situations.
Six players were on both the Vikings' top kickoff and kick return units: Michael Mauti, Adam Thielen, Andrew Sendejo, Larry Dean, Rhett Ellison and Shaun Prater. Several of those players are in battles for roster spots, and if the Vikings keep the same special teams units in the weeks before the start of the season, it could have an effect on several roster decisions.
Blair Walsh connected on all eight of his field goal attempts during a drill on Monday night, hitting his final two kicks from 45 and 48 yards.
Tuesday's schedule: The Vikings will take their final day off in Mankato, giving players a break before returning for the last two days of camp on Wednesday and Thursday.