There was some pushing and shoving between the Vikings and San Francisco 49ers when they were thrown together in Wednesday’s joint practice at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. Maybe some trash talk here and there.
That was by design as Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan made a deal before joint practices got underway.
“if anyone throws a punch, we’re going to kick them out of practice,” Shanahan said. “We know how important this practice work is right now. That’s what we stressed.”
While it has become customary for NFL teams to get into some scuffles during joint practices, it doesn’t sound like that’s going to be an issue with the Vikings and 49ers.
“You didn’t see a guy going out of their way to hit someone or start a fight or something like that,” San Francisco tight end George Kittle said. “Honestly, I think these practices are more important than the game. You have a chance here to show out in front of a lot of people. Who knows? Someone who might not make our team might make the Vikings. Someone on the Vikings might not make them and we might pick them up. This is huge for everyone.”
The joint practices are something Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been looking forward to throughout training camp.
“There’s always a little bit more juice,” he said. “You want to go against something different, and I think that’s why it’s really valuable to have these joint practices.”
BIG HOCKEY GUY
After making an appearance at Da Beauty League last month, Kittle joked that he might have to check out the summer spectacle that pits dozens of NHL players against each other.
“There’s a game tonight, right?” Kittle said after practice Wednesday. “Maybe if I get out of walkthrough.”
Though he was joking about skipping the walkthrough, Kittle lauded how impressive it was that so many NHL players are involved in Da Beauty League. They even tried to get him on skates last month when he popped by Braemar Arena in Edina.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I think Kyle Shanahan would rip my head off if he saw me on skates,’ ” Kittle said with a laugh. “I avoided that.”
ZIMMER’S NEW JOB
It appears former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has found another job. While he won’t be in the NFL this season, Zimmer reportedly has taken a job as an analyst at Jackson State.
Why is that a big deal? NFL legend Deion Sanders coaches the Jackson State football program and has a longstanding connection with Zimmer from their time together with the Dallas Cowboys.
As for the responsibilities Zimmer has in his new role, that much is still unclear.
Wide receiver Thomas Hennigan (shoulder) and defensive lineman Tyarise Stevenson (AC joint tear), both waived Tuesday with an injury designation, cleared waivers Wednesday and revered to Minnesota’s injured reserve list. The Vikings on Tuesday also let go of cornerback Tye Smith, fullback Jake Bargas and linebacker Andre Mintze. … Offensive lineman Chris Reed, who sat out Sunday’s 26-20 loss at Las Vegas in the preseason opener, did not practice Wednesday. He had a sleeve on his right arm.