Vikings rookie Christian Darrisaw missed some workouts in spring drills and sat out the first week of training camp due to a groin injury. But he believes there’s still plenty of time to claim the starting job at left tackle.
Darrisaw, taken with the No. 23 pick in the first round of April’s draft out of Virginia Tech, returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis. Afterward, he said he hopes to be in the lineup when the regular season gets underway Sept. 12 at Cincinnati.
“That’s definitely (a goal),” he said. “Everybody’s goal out here is to come out here and start. We all want to be starters. You just got to take it a day at a time. Don’t look too far ahead.”
Darrisaw believes that with his “work ethic,” he can make up for practices missed.
“Even though I was missing time, I was still in my playbook,” he said. “When I’m out there, I‘ve just got to show the coaches that I can do what I can do.”
Darrisaw underwent surgery in January and continued groin complications kept out of some spring drills. Then he wasn’t ready for training camp when it began on July 28.
“A little slight issues, but I’m back now,” he said.
Darrisaw took part in individual drills but not team work. He said “physically” he still has some catching up to do, but he hopes to take part in Saturday’s scrimmage at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“It felt amazing just being out with my boys,” he said. “It kind of hurt me hard just being out there watching them, but finally being out here, it feels great.”
Rashod Hill has been the first-team left tackle, but he left Wednesday’s practice early due to an undisclosed condition. Blake Bradel and Oli Udoh took first-team reps the rest of the day.
Also back Wednesday was rookie Wyatt Davis, who missed three straight workouts due to an injury he wouldn’t disclose. Davis, a third-round draft pick from Ohio State, said it’s too early to think about whether he could earn the starting job at right guard.
“I’m not really even concerned about that right now,” he said. “I’m just trying to learn the playbook and do everything right because if I do that right it would lead to the rest. I have a lot of things I have to work on before I start thinking about that.”
With the Vikings releasing cornerback Jeff Gladney on Tuesday after he was indicted on a felony assault charge, it marks the first time in more than two decades that they will get one season or less out of a first-round draft pick.
Gladney, taken No. 31 overall in 2020, played in 16 games as a rookie, starting 15. He had the shortest tenure as a Minnesota first-round pick since defensive end Dimitrius Underwood was selected No. 29 in 1999 and walked out of training camp before returning and soon being cut.
“Anytime you spend a draft pick on a guy and he isn’t with you any more — some kind of career-ending injury or something — it always hurts, because those high draft picks are, (general manager) Rick (Spielman) thinks they’re like gold,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “You’ve got to hit on those guys all the time.”
Gladney allegedly assaulted his then-girlfriend in Dallas in April.
“I feel sorry that he’s in the situation he’s in,” co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson said. “But me personally, if it’s true, then I don’t. That’s just the truth of the matter. That’s just who I am as a human being. … I don’t know if (the allegations are) true or if it’s not true. But if it’s true, you’re a grown man, and if you put yourself in those kind of positions, then you’ve got to pay the consequences. That’s the way life is. There’s no sorrow in my heart.”
Cornerback Kris Boyd was disappointed to see his good friend released.
“I was upset, of course, because I know him as a person and as a character,” Boyd said. “Me, as his friend, as his brother. someone who is close to him, I love him. He’s like a little brother to me. I’m always going to be there for him no matter what because I know him as a person. I know his heart. I’m going to be there for him regardless.”
Linebacker Anthony Barr, tight end Tyler Conklin and center Cohl Cabral sat out Wednesday’s practice with injuries. … Receiver Dede Westbrook, who tore his ACL last October, was again limited. Zimmer said Westbrook is “still a ways away.” … Running back Alexander Mattison said he will complete requirements next week for a bachelors degree in multidisciplinary studies from Boise State. “It’s a great accomplishment,” said Mattison, who has been doing online work at training camp.