Notebook: Vikings’ Munnerlyn out a couple weeks with lower-body injury
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Captain Munnerlyn returned for Minnesota Vikings workouts this year having dropped weight and looking to regain a bit of speed he said he lost last season.
After a dedicated offseason of work, Munnerlyn is dealing with a right leg or foot injury.
Munnerlyn has been in a walking boot this week after a magnetic resonance imaging test was done. Munnerlyn wouldn’t reveal the extent of the injury but said he hopes to be back practicing soon.
"Something going on down there," Munnerlyn said. "Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple weeks and be able to practice for minicamp."
Munnerlyn, 27, refocused himself in the offseason in order to return to the player who earned a three-year, $11.25 million contract as a free agent last year and admittedly didn’t live up to his expectations. Munnerlyn had 61 tackles and two interceptions while starting all 16 games last year for Minnesota.
The injury occurred during the first round of OTAs last week but Munnerlyn said the injury wasn’t diagnosed until this week when he couldn’t run during Tuesday’s practice.
"I kept practicing on it and didn’t know," Munnerlyn said. "I tried to practice on Tuesday and I couldn’t run. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ Had to get an MRI and they shut me down for a little bit, so hopefully I’ll be ready for minicamp."
Peterson impressing early: Running back Adrian Peterson was away from the team for nearly nine months as he dealt with a legal situation and suspension. But he isn’t showing much rust and is impressing his teammates and coaches.
"It was nice," offensive coordinator Norv Turner said of having Peterson back. "I’ve been around a lot of these guys a lot of years and he’s one of the top guys I’ve ever been around. He just comes out and it looks like he hadn’t missed a day. It was nice having him."
Turner said Peterson has retained a lot of the information from early last season. Turner has had a little bit of fun with Peterson’s return, as well. Coach Mike Zimmer said the first play of practice when Peterson returned, everyone expected the running back to get the ball. Instead, Turner called a play-action pass to much surprise.
The impact has been seen in practices.
"I think one of the biggest things about Adrian’s work ethic is the way it always seems to make guys around him work harder," tight end Kyle Rudolph said. "Just in the three days that he’s been here, our practices have been pretty crisp, a little bit more upbeat, and that’s what great players do. Great players come in, and they elevate the game of, not only themselves, but the guys around them."
Zimmer said the first practice with Peterson wasn’t as crisp. Rudolph tried to reason with his coach.
"His first day back on Tuesday, we made a few mistakes out here in the wind in practice," Rudolph said. "We were giving coach Zimmer a hard time, because I said, ‘No matter what, we got better today. (Number) 28 walked in the door. So we’ll clean up the mistakes, but we got better.’ And then yesterday we came back and had a great practice inside. Followed it up today with another good one."
Peterson had been working out on his own during his absence.
"He look great, look great, feel like he never lost a step," Munnerlyn said. "It’s crazy how he came back in shape and he’s ready to roll. Like I said, it’s going to be scary. It’s going to be scary this year with our offense."
Robison out but getting closer, others held out: Defensive end Brian Robison was one of several players held out of practice but Robison did a couple of drills with the defensive linemen as he returns from a pectoral injury he suffered during the first phase of the offseason program.
Defensive coordinator George Edwards said Robison should be ready for training camp.
"I don’t know exactly what the extent and the time period is with the injury, but I’d say that he will probably be ready," Edwards said.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was missing from Thursday’s practice open to the media. Edwards said Rhodes was at a graduation for his son.
Linebackers Anthony Barr, Gerald Hodges and Casey Matthews are still being held out of practices. Lineman Phil Loadholt had a helmet and was running on the side, but was held out of team drills. Tight end Rhett Ellison was held out Thursday, as well.
Waynes being given a lot to learn: Edwards said he’s been pleased with first-round draft pick Trae Waynes. The cornerback has been working inside in the nickel defense and at outside cornerback as the Vikings’ sort through the depth at the position.
"It’s a lot of different concepts that he’s learning, asking him to do some things that he probably hasn’t done, especially playing him inside on the slot," Edwards said. "For everything right now, I think it’s kind of running together a little bit for him, but he’s been working and doing a good job of picking up what it is we’re trying to teach him."
Without Rhodes and Munnerlyn on Thursday, the three cornerbacks with the first-team nickel defense were Josh Robinson, Terence Newman and Jabari Price, with Price working inside.
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