As Adrian Peterson returned to close to a full practice regimen with this week's start of organized team activities, the Vikings were missing their first three draft picks and several veterans – the draft picks for different reasons and the veterans because of surgery.
First-round quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was at the team's first OTA on Wednesday but missed Thursday while attending the Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles, an invitation-only event that teams are required to allow players to attend.
"He's learning and he's got a lot of catching up to do, but he's doing a good job," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
Bridgewater is expected to get some of the first-team reps in future practices, but veteran Matt Cassel handled the majority of those Thursday with Christian Ponder backing him up.
They were all missing their protective left tackle.
Matt Kalil was limited in practice because of a surgery he had about a month ago. Although Zimmer declined to give specifics, saying only that it wasn't Kalil's shoulder, USA TODAY reported that Kalil had arthroscopic knee surgery.
"He had a little procedure done," Zimmer said. "I'm guessing it was about four or five weeks ago. He's going through individuals and stuff like that, so we're just being a little careful with him right now."
Second-year pro Kevin Murphy took Kalil's spot at left tackle with the first-team offense.
The Vikings were also missing one of their top free-agent signings – nose tackle Linval Joseph. He, too, had an offseason issue that the Vikings knew about prior to signing him.
"He'll be fine. He's actually getting real close now," Zimmer said.
"We like a lot of things he does. Obviously we've got to get him out here on the field and get him going a little bit more. But we felt really good about him when we signed him."
Fred Evans took most of the reps where Joseph is expected alongside Sharrif Floyd.
The defensive backfield was also short-handed at Thursday's practice.
Safety Jamarca Sanford and Josh Robinson were "nicked up" in the first OTA on Wednesday.
"Day to day. Little muscle pulls, nothing major," Zimmer said.
And safety Andrew Sendejo had a procedure on his back recently, according to Zimmer.
In addition to Bridgewater being gone for the Rookie Premiere, the team was also missing first-round linebacker Anthony Barr, third-round defensive end Scott Crichton and fifth-round offensive lineman David Yankey, who are prohibited from participating because their respective universities are still in session.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Teddy Bridgewater was the final pick of the first round, but he will be meeting some influential…