Thousands of fans turn out for Vikings practice under the lights


The Minnesota Vikings held practice under the lights Saturday as part of the team's annual family football day.

Thousands of fans lined up early to get a spot inside Blakeslee Stadium at Minnesota State University, Mankato for the Vikings' annual night practice and family day.

And Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater gave the fans a reason to cheer during the scrimmage. In the first play, Peterson took the handoff, cut to the right and crossed the goal line, Vikings.com reports.

A total of 10,300 people attended the scrimmage, with 4,000 people joining the team for the morning walk-through, the team notes. Following the scrimmage, players took photos and signed autographs for fans.

Next week, the Vikings will travel to Ohio to play the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 9 – a day after legendary Viking Mick Tingelhoff is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former Viking players were also in Mankato over the weekend to give Tingelhoff a special sendoff ahead of his enshrinement, Vikings.com says.

Minnesota signs free agent Ryan Whalen

The Vikings also announced Saturday that they have signed free agent wide receiver Ryan Whalen to the team.

He was the sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 draft. He spent three seasons with the Bengals before being released at the end of the 2014 preseason.

Whalen played for the Bengals while coach Mike Zimmer was with Cincinnati as a defensive coordinator from 2011-13.

Minnesota now has a full 90-man roster, the Star Tribune says.

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