October 18, 2021


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Vikings Land at 12 in The Athletic’s Preseason…

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Ham, Smith showing versatility on offense

The Vikings have a well-earned off day Tuesday, one day after practicing in pads for the second straight day.

The entire team has practiced together for four days in all. Rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans wrapped up their seventh consecutive day of practice on Monday.

Matthew Coller of SKOR North listed his takeaways from the first week of Verizon Vikings Training Camp, and noted that the Vikings could get a multitude of players involved on the offensive side of the ball.

Coller wrote that he’s noticed fullback C.J. Ham and rookie tight end Irv Smith, Jr. used in creative ways under Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Coller wrote:

You would be hard-pressed to find someone in Eagan who wasn’t a big fan of C.J. Ham. The Vikings fullback has played a high percentage of first-team reps in 11-on-11s and considering Gary Kubiak’s teams generally use the fullback on a regular basis, we could be seeing Ham often in 2019.

Likewise, Irv Smith has been in routinely at the same time as Kyle Rudolph. If you considered Smith more of a receiver than tight end, he would be the “number three” wide receiver. The Vikings have lined him up all over the field during practices, and it doesn’t seem like they will deviate from the plan to use two tight ends unless Smith struggles during preseason games.

Ham is entering his third season on the roster and has been used as a blocker, rusher and pass catcher in the past. Smith, a 2019 second-round pick out of Alabama, recorded 58 receptions for 838 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and 10 touchdowns in 38 games in college.


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