EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings limited quarterback Sam Bradford in their open practice Tuesday because of what coach Mike Zimmer called "muscle soreness." Taylor Heinicke and Case Keenum split first-team snaps, but Zimmer sounded optimistic that Bradford would be back soon.
"We just backed him off," Zimmer said. "I think he’ll be out there tomorrow.”
Bradford, who started 15 games after coming to the Vikings in a trade last Sept. 3, is in his first offseason program with the team. His future remains uncertain, with his contract set to expire after this year and Teddy Bridgewater making a bid to return at some point from his major knee injury, but Bradford is doing more to make the team his own, Zimmer said.
"Sam and I have talked a lot, even when I was gone, about a lot of different things,” Zimmer said. “It’s been good for him to be around the players and take more of an ownership role. He’s taken on some of the things I’m trying to get him to do. I think he feels better about it.”
Here are some additional notes and observations from the Vikings' third open practice of organized team activities:
Tempers flared at times during the session, with Terence Newman talking to Stefon Diggs after the offense celebrated a long connection between Heinicke and Moritz Boehringer. Newman, who was taking first-team snaps at slot cornerback with Xavier Rhodes back in practice, got the last laugh later when he blitzed and jumped up to swat a Keenum throw. "Terence is a guy that plays with a lot of pride," Zimmer said. "If you talk a little noise to him, he's going to take your challenge. Better be careful not to wake up that bear."
Zimmer spent much of the day working with Tommy Armstrong, the former Nebraska quarterback whom the Vikings signed as a safety. The coach typically stays close to his young defensive backs during the Vikings' offseason program and training camp, and Armstrong is in the middle of his crash course in the Vikings' defense at the moment. "I think he is a really good athlete, and you can see some of the traits we look for in defensive players: the bursts, the acceleration, the size," Zimmer said. "Obviously he is still trying to learn some of the basic techniques of things and that will take a while, but he is a good, quality kid to work with and has a lot of upsides."
Edmond Robinson continued to work with the Vikings' first-team defense at weak-side linebacker with Emmanuel Lamur missing time because of injury. The Vikings will consider both players as options to replace the retired Chad Greenway, but Robinson, in his third year, could get a chance to win the job. "I think sometimes the first or second year, you still try to feel your way a little bit, and third year, you are a lot more comfortable," Zimmer said. "It is a big year for him, and I think, so far, he is progressing well."