MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings got Cordarrelle Patterson on the practice field for the first time since the start of training camp on Wednesday afternoon, while cornerback Captain Munnerlyn did some side work after returning from a strained hamstring that had him on the physically-unable-to-perform list. While those two players returned -- and two others made progress in their recoveries from injury -- the Vikings had several other players miss practice on Wednesday.
Safety Robert Blanton strained his hamstring during a blitz period in Monday's practice, coach Mike Zimmer said, and didn't practice on Wednesday. Cornerback Josh Robinson left with a tight hamstring, which didn't seem to concern Zimmer as much as Blanton's injury did. The safety has seen significant playing time with the first team since the start of the Vikings' OTAs in May, and his injury could alter the team's picture at the safety position opposite Harrison Smith.
A league source said Blanton could miss a few weeks, though his hamstring injury isn't believed to be serious and he could return by the end of the preseason under that timetable. Blanton's absence, though, could open the door for others at the position; Mistral Raymond got some first-team work on Wednesday, and Andrew Sendejo, who hasn't practiced in 2014 while dealing with back and ankle injuries, is nearing a return, Zimmer said.
"I believe he will be starting to come back Monday, when we come back to practice (after an off-day Sunday)," Zimmer said. "That's what I've been told. That's what we're shooting for."
Patterson, who missed the Vikings' first four practices with a minor foot injury, lined up at wide receiver for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. "He looked good," Zimmer said. "He was running good."
Tight end Chase Ford, who broke his foot before training camp, was off crutches and walking in a boot on Wednesday, but Zimmer said he wasn't sure when Ford might be able to return. Tight end A.C. Leonard also left early, but Zimmer said it was simply because of a headache.