First among the missing was safety Corey Chavous, who has admitted to having a down year in 2004. Filling in for him was Willie Offord, who could end up pushing Chavous for the starting job in training camp anyway. Offord filled in for Chavous when the latter was injured in the 2004 playoffs, and Offord performed admirably then.
Also missing from the starting backfield was safety Darren Sharper, who was excused so he could continue his broadcast work covering NFL Europe. Ken Irvin, who was slated to play cornerback last year before blowing out his Achilles tendon prior to the season opener, was used in Sharper's spot in the first-unit defense Monday.
But the defensive backfield endured one more missing in action Monday when nickel back Brian Williams skipped the voluntary workout. Williams has been frustrated with the Vikings' signing of Fred Smoot, who came in and assumed Williams' starting spot.
In Williams' stead was cornerback Ralph Brown, who was used in the nickel defense. Antoine Winfield moved inside to cover the slot receiver in those situations.
Offensive guard Chris Liwienski also wasn't attending, but he was still in Chicago with the baptism of his son and will practice Tuesday, offensive coordinator/line coach Steve Loney said.
The absence of Liwienski saw second-round draft pick Marcus Johnson filling in at right guard Monday after starting minicamp at left guard, then moving to right tackle to fill in for the Mike Rosenthal, who was recovering from foot surgery. Rosenthal was back in the lineup and taking part in all the drills Monday.
Pro Bowl center Matt Birk and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams were both held out of all of practice as they recover from their offseason surgeries. In Birk's absence, Cory Withrow assumed the duties at center and a number of defensive tackles were used in place of Williams.
Four rookies whose schools were still in session also weren't in attendance – first among them being safety Dustin Fox, the third-round draft choice who is still attending classes at Ohio State. The rest of the Vikings' draft picks attended, but rookie free agents Sarth Benoit, Heath Farwell and William Obeng were all still attending classes.