Safety Corey Chavous and cornerback Brian Williams continued to be no-shows for the voluntary camp, each for slightly different reasons. Chavous was reportedly upset with the Vikings for pursuing safety Donovin Darius during the offseason and might also be unhappy with his contract situation. However, it's unlikely the team would renegotiate his deal.
Williams also was reportedly unhappy with the Vikings signing cornerback Fred Smoot in March. The Vikings are hoping both will be back for training camp.
At running back, veteran Moe Williams was absent, giving rookie Ciatrick Fason more opportunities in the backfield. Fason was practicing behind Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore, but Williams is still expected to assume the third-down role when he returns to action.
Wide receiver Kelly Campbell was also missing, giving more practice plays to rookie Troy Williamson.
"They (Campbell and Williams) were excused," offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "They both had personal business and Mike (Tice) excused the two of them so we knew that they weren't going to be here."
The absence of Chavous would have created an opportunity for third-round draft pick Dustin Fox in practices to become more familiar with the Vikings' system, but under NFL rules Fox is not allowed to participate in voluntary workouts while Ohio State is still in session. He is expected back for the last week of developmental camps in mid-June.
Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was still in California recovering from his fourth surgery (labrum/hip) in nine months on Wednesday and was scheduled to fly home for the birth of his child on Thursday.
"The Birk household is rather hectic right now," Loney said.
In his absence, backup center Cory Withrow will be starting through the summer camps and training camp, and probably well into the preseason. Withrow brings five years of NFL experience, along with two years additional years as training camp and practice squad material.
"This is my eighth training camp with these guys, with a lot of them. We've had a lot of fun. We've had a lot of ups and downs and it's great to know that your teammates count on you and that you can be counted on," Withrow said. "There's a lot of pressure, but no one puts more pressure on me than me. This is awesome. We have awesome team chemistry and an awesome atmosphere, and I'm looking forward to the season to get going."
As the NFC preseason favorites in a number of national football publications, the Vikings have the talent on the roster. Now they need to get their "holdouts" to attend training camp and their injured players back on the practice field.