- The Vikings' revamped running game isn't at full strength yet, but it took two steps in that direction Monday.
The team activated running back Latavius Murray from the physically-unable-to-perform list on Monday, in time for the Vikings' penultimate practice in Mankato.
Murray didn't participate in any team contact drills, and whether or not he will play in the preseason contest at Buffalo Thursday night remains undetermined.
Missing his fifth straight practice with a leg injury was wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (leg).
Coach Mike Zimmer had characterized Reiff's absence as precautionary, but he was more forceful last week when he spoke about Murray's need to get on the field and make up for lost time.
"It was good to see him out there, going through individual [drills], being able to give him the ball a few times, give him the handoffs, to see him move", Bradford continued. "So that's what that was".
Left tackle Riley Reiff returned to the offensive line for the first time since suffering an injury on July 27.
Zimmer said it was hard to evaluate some aspects of the practice without full tackling, but noted that Cook fared well. Players can see exceptional athletes.
"But you can't go into this thing with kid gloves or scared", Zimmer added. "But it's good for him to be back out here and just get back in the groove". "We learned from a year ago that that's the way we have to do it".
The Vikings seem to be preparing a bigger role in 2017 for Danielle Hunter, who led the team with 12½ sacks despite playing on a rotational basis previous year. The Vikings have shown a willingness to put their defensive ends in coverage in the past, and the more attention Hunter attracts from opposing offenses, the more he can deceive blockers and open up opportunities for other rushers.
"If felt good to be out here with the guys and working with the O-linemen, and it's fun putting the pads on", Reiff said. Jeremiah Sirles also got some work at left tackle, and Hill got some reps at right tackle. "It's not like we're asking him to cover man-to-man down the field or anything like that".
"It was a big relief", said Murray, who missed the Vikings' workouts all spring and the first 10 days of training camp after having surgery on his right ankle.
The Vikings also drafted running back Dalvin Cook in this year's draft.
Defensive end Everson Griffen suffered midway through practice what Zimmer only would say was a "little tweak". Some of these 2-yard runs could turn into 6 yards. But, soreness is something that he'd love to deal with to get on the field and finally compete for the starting job the Vikings have.