Vikings have players pushing for time
Brian Robison (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Brian Robison (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Posted Jun 27, 2009

The Vikings have a few players in the background looking to grind out a bigger contributing role.

The Vikings continue to wait for Brett Favre, hoping he will soon end his months-old retirement to play for them this season.

The quarterback called it quits last February after one year with the Jets, but for the second consecutive offseason it appears his desire is to continue. The biggest factor in Favre’s decision will be whether he feels his throwing arm is sound enough for him to play a 19th season in the NFL.

He underwent an arthroscopic procedure to repair a partially torn biceps in late May. The process of Favre playing in Minnesota is far enough down the road that he reportedly has agreed to a contract with the Vikings, although it has yet to be signed.

Favre and the Vikings both agree that a decision is going to need to be made before the team reports to training camp in late July.

OFFSEASON STANDOUT: WR Jaymar Johnson, a sixth-round pick in 2008 who spent the season on the practice squad, has added about 17 pounds to his 6-foot frame and looks far more prepared for the NFL this season. Johnson will be in a tough competition for a roster spot, but considering the confidence he displayed during offseason workouts it appears he is prepared to take the next step.

LINEUP WATCH: DE Brian Robison served as a backup to Pro Bowl right end Jared Allen last season and also showed his versatility by moving inside on certain passing downs. Robison, who is 6-3, 267 pounds, has been working hard this offseason and appears ready to compete with left end Ray Edwards for a starting spot. The key would be how Robison holds up against the run, but there seems to be a confidence he could handle that aspect of things.

ROOKIE IMPRESSIONS: The Vikings selected WR Percy Harvin with their first-round pick despite questions about his character. The fact he reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine did not help matters. But once Harvin participated in offseason practices it became clear why the Vikings were willing to take the risk. Harvin already appears to be one of the best athletes on the Vikings and the fact he could end up being used on punt and kickoff returns makes him that much more valuable.

INJURY WATCH: CB Charles Gordon suffered a gruesome season-ending injury to his ankle and leg last November while attempting to return a punt against Green Bay. Gordon continues to rehab the injury and is not back on the field yet. When he does get back, he will attempt to compete for a job in the Vikings’ nickel defense. Gordon was being used in that role before getting hurt.

CONTRACT TO WATCH: CB Antoine Winfield did not take part in any OTA sessions and also missed the mandatory minicamp, although in the latter case coach Brad Childress said it was because Winfield was attending a funeral. Nonetheless, it’s clear Winfield is not happy that contract talks broke down on a new deal in May and as he enters the last season of his current deal the veteran wants to get something done. It’s too early to say whether Winfield would stay away from training camp but that possibility can’t be dismissed.

Related Stories
Contracts to consider after 2010
 -by  Jul 9, 2009
Robison rushes into impressive offseason
 -by  Jun 5, 2009
Lurtsema’s Reaction: Line play, QBs & Harvin
 -by  May 24, 2009

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