Vikings rookie Ed Ingram pleased with practice showing as first-team guard

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Vikings tackle Brian O’Neill, a second-round pick in 2018, started his first game as a rookie in Week 6. Guard Ezra Cleveland, a second-round pick in 2020, also started his first game as a rookie in Week 6. Could guard Ed Ingram, a second-round pick in 2022, beat them both with a Week 1 start?

It’s certainly possible.

Ingram, listed as second string on Minnesota’s unofficial depth chart at right guard behind veteran Jesse Davis, worked with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday while Davis was with the second team for the first time in training camp. It marked the first time in camp Ingram has gotten first-team snaps, excluding several practices Davis sat out to rest a surgically repaired right knee.

“I feel like it went pretty good,’’ Ingram said after the workout “It went well.”

Ingram was taken with the No. 59 overall pick in the draft out of LSU. He said he knew coming into the practice that he would line up with the first team.

“It wasn’t a surprise,’’ he said. “I was expecting it. I’m trying to work and see what I can do with the ones and the twos.”

The rookie was asked if anything should be read into his work with the first team at a practice that Davis did not sit out.

“I guess they want to see where I’m at, like on the team, and see where my work ethic is at,” he said.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell was not available for comment after the practice. The Vikings open the preseason on Sunday at Las Vegas.

DEPTH CHART OUT

The Vikings released their first depth chart of the season Wednesday morning, and there was some drama at backup quarterback.

Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion were listed as co-backups behind Kirk Cousins. The two have been splitting second-team reps during training camp, although Mond got the first opportunity with the second team in Monday’s night practice at TCO Stadium.

Training camp opened with three starting jobs possibly open. At all three, veterans were listed ahead of rookies who are battling to start.

In addition to Davis being listed ahead of Ingram at right guard, Camryn Bynum was listed ahead of first-round pick Lewis Cine at safety and Cameron Dantzler ahead of second-round selection Andrew Booth Jr. at cornerback. Bynum and Dantzler have been working with the first team throughout training camp. Cine returned to practice after having been excused from Monday’s workout.

The Vikings list Austin Schlottman as the backup center behind Garrett Bradbury, and Chris Reed as the backup left guard behind Cleveland. But Reed has been taking some second-team snaps and could push Bradbury at center.

SMITH-MARSETTE THE RETURNER

The Vikings listed wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette as first on the depth chart at punt returner even though he didn’t return a single punt as a rookie in the 2021 regular season and also had no returns in four years at Iowa.

Smith-Marsette, though, did have two returns in the 2021 preseason, bringing one back for 17 yards and another for no gain.

“I feel like I’m getting really comfortable at (punt returns),’’ Smith-Marsette said. “(Special teams coordinator Matt Daniels) believes in me to go out there and do it, so I’m just going to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Wide receiver K.J. Osborn, who has experience as a punt returner, believes Smith-Marsette will be effective because he’s “really elusive” and “has real fast speed.”

Osborn returned seven punts as a rookie in 2020 and four in 2021, when he developed into Minnesota’s No. 3 receiver and caught 50 passes. Rookie Jalen Nailor is listed as the backup punt returner and Osborn is not on the depth chart in that role. Osborn said it’s reasonable to assume that’s because of his heavy load as a receiver.

BRIEFLY

It’s not expected that the Vikings will sign backup running back Alexander Mattison to a contract extension before the season, putting him in line to be a free agent in March. Mattison said he’s “not aware” of there having been any contract talks. Indications are he could test the market in an attempt to land a job as a starter. … Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans and wide receiver Dan Chisena, who sat out Monday with undisclosed injuries, again didn’t practice. … Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said the Vikings’ defense will “be basic” in the preseason opener and he wants his players to be “clean on our assignments.”

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