Second-year receiver K.J. Osborn continues to turn heads in his efforts to elbow his way into the No. 3 receiver position.
Wednesday, he turned a terribly thrown pass from Jake Browning into a diving 20-yard grab that had the fans oohing. The ball was thrown wide right of the target, but Osborn laid out to make the diving grab.
Earlier in the day, coach Mike Zimmer was asked where Osborn has grown the most.
"I think confidence," Zimmer said of the 2020 fifth-round draft pick. "Now he thinks he's pretty good. A year ago, he was kind of feeling his way. Didn't catch the ball that great. Now he's catching the ball really well. He looks a little faster to me. I think all that is because of his confidence."
Asked if he's been surprised by Osborn's progress, Zimmer said, "It surprised me a little bit, yeah."
- Blake Brandel got most of the first-team reps at left tackle with projected starter Christian Darrisaw limited and backup Rashod Hill out. Darrisaw was in pads, but did only light work during individual drills. Brandel, a 2020 sixth-round draft pick, showed he's still raw and needing more strength for the position.
- Linebacker Anthony Barr was held out of Wednesday's practice for undisclosed reasons. He watched from the sideline. Meanwhile, rookie guard Wyatt Davis was back in pads and practicing for the first time this week. Also missing practice were center Cohl Cabral and tight end Tyler Conklin. Receiver Dede Westbrook and nose tackle Michael Pierce also were limited and did not participate in team drills.
- Journeyman kicker Greg Joseph could be the under-the-radar storyline that soon becomes very much on the radar once the preseason games begin. During an early period Wednesday, the Vikings practiced hurrying the field goal unit onto the field. The crowd groaned on the first attempt when Joseph missed a 48-yarder badly to the left. He then made one from 40 yards.
- The Vikings ended practice with their situational period. The situation was this: Score tied 7-7 and the offense at its own 25 with 1:11 left. Browning completed 3 of 5 passes. Irv Smith dropped a pass. The other incompletion was a terrible deep ball to Adam Thielen. On fourth down, Joseph was brought in for a 56-yarder. He missed badly to the left.