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Minnesota Vikings NFL training camp preview: Key dates, notable additions, biggest storylines

With 2023 NFL training camps set to kick off the week of July 24, it's time to get up to speed on all 32 NFL teams. Kevin Patra has the lowdown on position battles, key players and notable subplots across the NFC North:

Catch up on the Minnesota Vikings' offseason and 2023 outlook below ...

Training Camp Dates/Information

  • Players report: July 23 (rookies); July 25 (veterans)
  • Location: TCO Performance Center | Eagan, Minnesota (fan information)

Notable Roster Changes

Table inside Article
2023 Draft class Selection
WR Jordan Addison Round 1 (No. 23 overall)
CB Mekhi Blackmon Round 3 (No. 102)
S Jay Ward Round 4 (No. 134)
DL Jaquelin Roy Round 5 (No. 141)
QB Jaren Hall Round 5 (No. 164)
RB DeWayne McBride Round 7 (No. 222)

Preseason Schedule

2023 Schedule Notes

  • The Vikings and Rams are the only teams to start the 2023 season with three straight games against 2022 playoff teams (five teams start with back-to-back games such games). Minnesota plays four of its first five games versus 2022 playoff teams.
  • The Vikings play their final three games against NFC North opponents.

-- NFL Research

Subplots To Track

1) What will life look like without Dalvin Cook? Alexander Mattison is set to take the lead-back role, now that the Vikings have released Cook. Mattison has never handled more than 134 carries in a season since entering the league in 2019. He's in for a big boost in playing time in 2023, but we should expect some sort of rotation to shake out of Minnesota's backfield. Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu and seventh-round pick DeWayne McBride will battle for reps during camp.

2) How will Danielle Hunter's situation unfold? The Vikings received trade calls for the pass rusher, who skipped mandatory minicamp last month. Hunter and the Vikings haven't been able to agree on a contract solution, with Hunter due $5.5 million this season. Will the two sides work out a deal before camp begins? Will he be traded? Will he report without a new deal or a new team? It seems like all options are on the table at this point.

3) It will be a pivotal season for Kirk Cousins, who is due to become a free agent next offseason, and the Vikings might be leaning more on the passing game after jettisoning Cook. All-Pro wideout Justin Jefferson is the clear go-to target. The question is whether first-round pick Jordan Addison can hit the ground running in his rookie campaign. With Adam Thielen off to Carolina, the Vikings need the rookie to make an immediate impact. Minnesota will be counting on big contributions from tight end T.J. Hockenson in his first full season with the team. K.J. Osborn is a solid target, and Jalen Reagor adds field-stretching ability, but the Vikings need Addison for the passing game to shine in head coach Kevin O'Connell's second season.

4) What will Brian Flores' defense look like, especially with a revamped secondary? Hiring Flores to lead the defense was a coup for Minnesota, particularly after the group struggled last season (28th in points allowed, 31st in yards allowed). The secondary remains the most significant question mark. Byron Murphy Jr. was signed in free agency, and third-round pick Mekhi Blackmon could be in line for a substantial role. Outside of Harrison Smith, the Vikings' secondary is riddled with questions. We'll start to get some answers during camp.

5) Is Justin Jefferson's contract extension coming? It's not unusual to see extensions announced before or in the early stages of training camp. Will Jefferson get paid before entering his fourth season? The star receiver has been dynamite since Minnesota drafted him 22nd overall in 2020. In three seasons, Jefferson has generated 4,825 receiving yards on 324 catches with 25 TDs. In 2022 he led the league with 1,809 yards and 128 catches. Due $2.399 million in 2023 and $19.743 million in 2024, Jefferson is underpaid for his production at a premium position. Will the Vikings give him his payday now or later?

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