Billy McMullen started training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list and remains there. Fifth-round pick Aundrae Allison has been out a few days with a sore hamstring, and that's been the same story with second-round pick Sidney Rice. Troy Williamson returned to practice Monday after missing time with an infection in his arm.
The lack of numbers were evident this weekend in a practice against the Kansas City Chiefs, when Childress said he only had five healthy wide receivers, so Monday the Vikings signed former University of Minnesota Gophers receiver Paris Hamilton.
"I had to leave my house at about 4:30 or 5 o'clock (this morning)," said Hamilton, who received the good news of his new employment at about midnight after returning from a bowling alley in his hometown of Houston, Tex. "I was at the airport at 6 and got on the flight. Short night, but I'll make sure I get some sleep tonight. I was all smiles. I was just happy they brought me back and I'll just try to make the best out of this opportunity."
Hamilton made it back in time for the Vikings' special teams practice that started at 2:15 p.m. Monday, jogging onto the field as the team was stretching. After a brief stretch, he jogged over and shook hands with wide receivers coach George Stewart and proceeded to give Childress a hearty handshake on his way to joining teammates and starting the process of learning the Vikings' ways all over again.
"I can return kicks. When I was in Detroit, I was on kickoff team and punt team. So I can contribute on special teams or wherever," Hamilton said.
Wide receivers Bobby Wade and Chandler Williams were the ones fielding kickoffs during the afternoon practice, but Hamilton could see a role in Friday night's preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams with the amount of receivers the Vikings have had standing on the sidelines with injuries.
Hamilton was supposed to start his new job as a personal trainer at a 24-hour fitness shop in Houston on Tuesday or Wednesday, but his career path was happily reverted to the NFL.
The former Gopher started his professional career with the Lions, who signed him as a rookie free agent following the 2005 draft. He was released before the first regular-season game that year. In 2006, he returned to the Lions, but again was released before the regular season began.
This offseason he signed with the Vikings, who released him in mid-June but apparently told him they'd likely look to re-sign him if they needed a receiver.
"I pretty much remember all of the stuff because I wrote it all down in my little notepad, and I have my notepad at home. Every now and then, I'll sit down and just look over the stuff because (VP of player personnel Rick) Spielman told me they were going to bring me back," Hamilton said.
"My agent (Chris Murray) had been keeping in close contact with them and telling me to just keep in shape because whenever I get that call I don't want to be a bust – be out of shape and they'd send me right back home. I work out every day, try to eat right, try to run so I can stay in shape."
Hamilton was a prize junior college recruit by former Minnesota Gophers coach Glen Mason, but a knee injury virtually wiped out Hamilton's career with the Gophers.
Listed at just more than 6 feet tall and 195 pounds coming out of college, he ran the 40 in 4.37-4.54 and recorded a 32-inch vertical jump.
"He has some size, speed and run-after-the-catch ability, all favorable characteristics for the West Coast Offense," Scout.com wrote about him coming out of college.
Now, thanks to the misfortune (and hamstrings of others), he's getting another chance in the Vikings' West Coast Offense.
"Guys are going to get hurt and they're going to look for somebody to bring in so they can step up," he said.