Former Vikings second-round draft pick Tyrell Johnson was back at Winter Park Friday, going through a workout for Vikings coaches and scouts.
Johnson was one of three safeties to work out for the team. Joining him were former Dolphins safety Troy Nolan and former Bucs safety Larry Asante, according to 1500 ESPN.
The Vikings' depth at safety is being tested after starter Mistral Raymond suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of action for about a month, and backup Andrew Sendejo is also dealing with an ankle injury that has him listed as questionable on the injury report.
"It's unfortunate being in this position. You have to wait on somebody being hurt, but every opportunity is an opportunity to go out there, show you can perform and still play," Johnson said.
"It is kind of a strange feeling (being back in the Vikings' locker room), but it's definitely an exciting feeling when you come back in and the team welcomes you back – your teammates are all happy to see you."
The Vikings decided not to re-sign the 2008 draft pick when he became a free agent in March. He signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins in April. At the time, he was still dealing with a hamstring injury that required surgery late last season. He said Friday that is now "100 percent" healed.
He also had a workout with the Detroit Lions a couple weeks ago.
Johnson said he has been trying to follow other teams' situations at safety while he has been unemployed the last three weeks.
"That's all you have time to do is sit and watch. You pick up on a lot of good things to do, you reflect on things that you did not do so well and the things that you did well," he said. "I used that time wisely to stay in shape and focus on things to get better at and do my best to get it right the next time."
In four seasons with the Vikings, Johnson registered 123 tackles but only 10 passes defensed and two interceptions. He only started 27 games, 15 of those coming in 2009.
The Vikings have made some alterations to their defensive scheme under new coordinator Alan Williams, but are still considered a Cover-2 team at their base, which is what they ran throughout Johnson's tenure with Minnesota.
"I hear they mixed it up a little bit more and run all different kinds of things, but that's what I was doing in Miami," he said. "I ran everything from quarters to thirds to twos, so it's nothing else in football that I haven't ran."
The Vikings didn't make him an immediate offer and he said there was no timetable he knew of for that. Most likely, the team would wait until Monday to make a move if they decided they needed additional safety depth, but by then Sendejo's injury could be good enough to make him a full participant in practice next Wednesday.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.
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