Receiver Stefon Diggs donned his helmet and ran through drills with his fellow receivers Wednesday, a step forward for the injured Vikings star before the team travels to London later tonight.
Diggs has missed the past two games due to a strained groin and, before Wednesday, had not done that much in practice since suffering the injury Oct. 9 in Chicago.
Left guard Nick Easton also returned to practice, taking his spot in the offensive line during position drills. However, the Vikings were without left tackle Riley Reiff, who watched from the sideline with an injured knee suffered Sunday against the Ravens. Reserve lineman Jeremiah Sirles (knee) was not seen at practice.
Quarterback Sam Bradford was again not spotted at the start of Vikings practice. He is expected to travel to London with the team, according to head coach Mike Zimmer, even though he hasn’t practiced since he was pulled from the Bears game.
A Vikings party of more than 150 people will depart Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport via two Virgin Atlantic jumbo jets tonight. They’re expected to land at Heathrow Terminal 3 in London on Thursday morning around 10 a.m. (BST). Players have been instructed on limiting caffeine consumption, adjusting sleep schedules and even given “special glasses,” as receiver Jarius Wright said, to look at their smartphones while minimizing the light intake.
“We’re going to try something a little bit different than most of the other teams,” Zimmer said. “I’ll either look smart or I’ll look dumb.”
By that, Zimmer means having the team sleep on the roughly nine-hour plane ride over and practice five hours after landing. Vikings Chef Geji McKinney-Banks was given instructions by the team to prepare a heavy meal, chicken alfredo for dinner, that may help with sleeping earlier.
“So we’re going to get there a day early,” Zimmer said. “We’ve had sleep people come talk to us, you know we’re getting the whole gamut. I was looking into all the scientific things for this.”
After practices on Thursday and Friday in London, the Vikings kick off against the Browns on Sunday, 8:30 a.m. (CST), from Twickenham Stadium.