One or two of those yet-to-be claimed roster spots are at wide receiver. Following Thursday's practice, head coach Leslie Frazier was asked a wide range of questions dealing with such topics as injuries and the shifting of roles for different players.
On the injury topic, Frazier said that both Percy Harvin (ribs) and Greg Camarillo (groin) would be sitting out Saturday's game at Seattle. Shelving the team's top two slot receivers will give others a chance to showcase themselves as they battle for roster spots or the practice squad. At this time of year, opportunity is something a lot of players on the roster need.
"It is," Frazier said of the additional game reps the backup receivers will get. "That's one of the reasons that reasons we didn't want to rush Percy or Greg. If this were a regular-season game, things would be different, but we really need to evaluate that position. When we talked about it, we said, ‘You know what? We know Camarillo. We know Percy. We want to get to know these other guys much better so can make the right decision.'"
While that may have sounded like a ringing endorsement of Camarillo having his roster spot cemented, Frazier, in classic Chicago style, cautioned about jumping to that conclusion. Camarillo is not on the list of those guaranteed a roster spot.
It seems quite clear that Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Michael Jenkins have locked three of what is presumed to be five spots on the final roster. If Camarillo had one locked down as well, that would likely leave Devin Aromashodu and Jaymar Johnson being the co-leaders in the battle for just one roster spot. However, Frazier was quick to point out that Camarillo's spot on the roster hasn't been written in pen just yet.
"Not at all," Frazier said of a competition for just one available roster spot at wide receiver. "That's not reality because there are some spots that are open. We're not sure who the fourth receiver is going to be. We're not sure who the fifth receiver is going to be. We are somewhat certain who our third receiver is going to be, but there is a battle for that fourth and fifth spot for sure. So special teams will factor and nobody has really nailed those spots yet."
Camarillo was the Vikings punt returner last year, lining up for 59 of the 64 punts the Vikings received last year. Of the 59 punts he took, he called for a fair catch on roughly one-third of them (20) and averaged 9.2 yards on the ones he returned. Will that be enough to lock down his roster spot and leave the final battle up to Aromashodu, Johnson and a handful of young hopefuls?
In the end, it would seem that if Camarillo was fighting for his job, he would insist on not sitting out tomorrow night's game. In reality, Camarillo might have one of those final two spots all but locked, but Frazier isn't tipping his hand just yet.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.