Receiver Justin Jefferson wants to remind people that the season has at least three months left. The Vikings star said Thursday he's seen the chatter on social media about trade ideas and ways Minnesota should build for 2024 and beyond following the 0-3 start.
"I'm tired of people saying that we're looking to next season or all of the trades," Jefferson said. "We're focused still on this season. We have a lot more games to go and we have a lot more things to accomplish."
The winning needs to start soon. Few NFL teams — only six — have made the postseason after an 0-3 start. But only one, the 1992 Chargers, overcame an 0-4 start to make the playoffs.
Davenport practices; Bradbury limited
Marcus Davenport practiced Thursday for the first time in two weeks. He rejoined teammates in defensive line drills during the portion of practice open to reporters, and he was listed as limited on the team's injury report. The free-agent addition has played only four snaps this season, against Philadelphia in Week 2.
"He would help us," defensive coordinator Brian Flores said. "He can rush, he plays physical in the run game, he's a guy you can move around and match him up on certain linemen. Specifically in the pass game that could create some one-on-one opportunities. And we could use that, certainly."
Coordinator Wes Phillips said guard Dalton Risner is "progressing quickly" with the likelihood he plays Sunday in Carolina. He also said center Garrett Bradbury, who practiced again Thursday on a limited basis, would settle the offensive line if he can return.
"He just has a great way about being calm up there," Phillips said. "A calm presence and we check to a play from a play, he understands why, he understands the criteria of why we got to that and the responses from the defense."
Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (hip) and safety Josh Metellus (shoulder) returned to practice and were limited. Metellus wore a red no-contact jersey. Safety Lewis Cine did not practice because of a hamstring injury.
Panthers safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), a former Vikings defender, did not practice Thursday.
Special teams coordinator Matt Daniels said rookie edge rusher Andre Carter II can be a "matchup problem" for other teams. Carter, who made his NFL debut last week with 14 defensive snaps and 10 special teams snaps, was among a few new players on special teams. Receiver Trishton Jackson was elevated from the practice squad, replacing the injured Jalen Nailor, and rookie defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy made his NFL debut.
Cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, the third-round rookie, played only one special teams snap. That's because of his importance to the Vikings defense, Daniels said, as a part-time player and likely next man up if Murphy or Akayleb Evans miss game time.
"Being our third corner," Daniels said, "and us not really having huge depth at the position, just kind of want to tread lightly with him."