By David McCoy

MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — Rookies with the Minnesota Vikings are already at training camp in Mankato.

They reported to Minnesota State University Sunday, along with select veterans. Those who reported Sunday had their first practices of training camp on Monday.

Veteran players don’t report until Wednesday, and the first full team workout is Thursday. This is the first time head coach Mike Zimmer has had the rookies report ahead of the veterans.

WCCO’s David McCoy was in Mankato on Monday as the rookies took to the field for their first practice as Vikings.

It might be Day 1 of training camp, but the reality is this isn’t nearly the first time Vikings’ coaches have gotten a look at what Dalvin Cook can do while wearing purple. And the guy running the offense has been impressed with Cook’s grasp and retention of the offensive system so far.

“Well he really has retained a great deal from the spring and I think that’s the most important piece,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. “We were just talking about it. There’s no substitute for experience, and these guys are a little bit experienced because they were here in the spring.”

It remains to be seen when Latavius Murray will get his chance to show what he can do. Murray was placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday, and it’s uncertain when he’ll be able to begin practicing.

“He is very in tune with what we’re doing mentally. He asks great questions, he’s made some suggestions on things,” Shurmur said.

Ultimately, who replaces Adrian Peterson as the starting running back isn’t nearly as important as understanding this: This training camp is perhaps less a competition for the starting job than a chance for Shurmur to figure out the best ways to use both of them.

“Yeah and there’s probably a lot more to be seen from Dalvin as he kind of works over each hurdle of training camp and then your first preseason game and then maybe extended use. Dealing with the pounding and all that type of stuff, so at this point it’s pretty early in the game to start lining it all up, but they’re two very good players that deserve to touch the ball,” Shurmur said.

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