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.