Vikings' Search for WR Continues

Ever since releasing Koren Robinson in training camp, questions about the Vikings' wide receiver corps have been popping up. They have tried out numerous players, including another one this week.

While the Vikings lost offensive tackle Donald Penn, who was on their practice squad, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Wednesday, Minnesota's search to upgrade their wide receiver corps continued. No position has received as much attention with tryouts at Winter Park as wide receiver – and another prospect was worked out at that position earlier this week.

The Vikings held tryouts for defensive back Patrick Body from Toledo and wide receiver Bethel Johnson from Texas A&M.

Johnson was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft (45th overall), and ended up playing mostly on special team. He finished 2004 tied for fourth in the AFC with a 24.8-yard kickoff return average – an area in which the Vikings could use help. In 2003, Johnson led the AFC with a 28.2-yard average.

The Vikings have tried out 15 different wide receivers this season, but the only one of those they've signed and kept since Sept. 1 is Martin Nance, who is on the practice squad. The Vikings also signed Maurice Mann, a player that didn't even try out for them, to their active roster on Sept. 9. Mann was plucked from Seattle's practice squad like Penn was taken from the Vikings' practice squad.

In addition to Johnson, the Vikings have looked at Derrick Armstrong (Arkansas-Monticello), Nance (Miami), Todd Pinkston (Southern Mississippi, signed and later released), J.R. Russell (Louisville), Craphonso Thorpe (Florida State), Taco Wallace (Kansas State), Quincy Morgan (Kansas State), Troy Bergeron (no college), Rasheed Marshall (West Virginia), Brad Pyatt (Northern Colorado), Charlie Adams (Hofstra), Randy Hymes (Grambling), Efrem Hill (Samford) and Darius Watts (Marshall).

Clearly, the Vikings view wide receiver as a position of need, as they have worked out more receivers than all the other positions combined so far this season.

Body, the defensive back who was also worked out by the Vikings this week, is 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds. He played in six games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005, registering four tackles. The Bengals waived him with an injury settlement before the season began.

VIKINGS CONNECTIONS

  • After getting beat in coverage during Monday's game against the Green Bay Packers, the Philadelphia Eagles released former Vikings defensive back Dustin Fox. On Thursday morning, the Eagles re-signed Fox to their practice squad after he cleared waivers.

  • Former Vikings linebacker Rod Davis, released by Minnesota in its final roster cutdown in September, had a tryout this week with the Green Bay Packers.

  • Cedric Killings, late of the Washington Redskins and once with the Minnesota Vikings in 2002 and 2003, had a tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Last week the Vikings released guard C.J. Brooks from their practice squad. He was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad this week.

  • The New England Patriots added former Vikings practice squad offensive lineman Sean Bubin to their practice squad. The Vikings released Bubin during preseason this year.

  • The Cincinatti Bengals signed offensive tackle Alan Reuber to their practice squad. Reuber was released by the Cardlinals in the early September roster parings and spent time with the Vikings during the 2005 off-season.


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