The Vikings began a two-week disruption to the weekly schedule on Wednesday with the start of hastened preparation for the Lions on Sunday, six days after losing to the Eagles. Next week the Vikings take the operation to London to play the Saints.
First-year head coach Kevin O'Connell is having the team adjust likewise. There was no practice on Wednesday, meaning players will have one full practice on Thursday before hosting the Lions. There was instead a walkthrough and extra meetings in the latest step mirroring the Super Bowl-champion Rams, O'Connell's former team.
"We're still well within 48 hours from that game the other night," O'Connell said. "We're having extended meetings [Wednesday]. A little more meeting time than we would normally have just to be able to obviously circle back on the things we need to correct from the game but then also be right on schedule for the rest of the week.
"We played quite a few prime-time games there in L.A.," O'Connell added. "Before you know it, we'll be right back on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium."
Coaches and players didn't return from Philadelphia until around 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning, leading O'Connell to ease the physical burden this early in the season. Thursday's practice will feature extra full-speed reps, he said, while jogging through plays in this week's game plan sufficed, according to quarterback Kirk Cousins.
"It's important that we get plays run," Cousins said. "The detail, the execution, lining up, hearing the play, getting in and out of the huddle, knowing where the depth is, knowing your steps, knowing your progressions, going through the mental and really the physical movements of what you need to do."
Harrison Smith remains sidelined
The Vikings' first injury report on a short week featured just two players –- safety Harrison Smith (concussion) and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (quad) — who were both held out of Wednesday's activities. Smith was injured in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, and needs to clear the concussion protocol to play against the Lions. The protocol is a five-step process involving various levels of exercise followed by cognitive testing against baseline standards.
"He feels pretty good," O'Connell said. "We'll kind of allow that process to play out."
Safety Josh Metellus — not first-round pick Lewis Cine — replaced Smith against the Eagles. Cine said Wednesday he wasn't sure if he'd start for Smith against the Lions.
Four Lions, including running back D'Andre Swift (ankle) and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (thigh), did not practice. Swift played through an ankle injury last week, but he was limited to seven touches. Hutchinson, the No. 1 overall pick, was injured Sunday against the Commanders. Defensive lineman John Cominsky (wrist) and guard Jonah Jackson (finger) were also held out.
An additional four Lions players, including tight end T.J. Hockenson (hip) and center Frank Ragnow (foot), were limited in practice.
- Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who had 184 yards from scrimmage against Washington, was a 2021 fourth-round pick and told Detroit reporters he was looking for Commanders receiver Dyami Brown — drafted a round ahead of him — in the game but couldn't find him. St. Brown was asked if the Vikings drafted a receiver before him: "They didn't, no. But they didn't draft me either. I know they had some picks in there." The Vikings made five picks before St. Brown was selected 112th overall by Detroit.
- The Vikings were unable to slow the Eagles' pass rush with screens. Running back Dalvin Cook had catches for a loss of 1 yard and gains of 2 and 4 yards, blaming what he said was man-to-man coverage underneath that quickly sniffed out their plans. "[He] was just standing right there," Cook said. "It wasn't nothing that they did. They just had in man [coverage] the whole game and he was just standing there waiting for the football."
- Cousins said ex-Lions quarterback David Blough, who is on the practice squad, has been an asset in preparation: "You just try to get all the information you can and find ways to have it help you."