As one would imagine, the last few days have been a whirlwind for Vikings wide receiver Greg Lewis. His first reception as a member of the team was about as memorable as you could get – being on the receiving end of a 32-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre with two seconds left in the Vikings’ 27-24 win over San Francisco Sunday.
Until that fateful play, Lewis was known primarily as the guy who made popular wide receiver Bobby Wade expendable. Through the first two weeks of the season, Lewis had been inactive and, if not for Darius Reynaud getting injured and Percy Harvin getting gassed from running several long routes during the chaotic final drive, Lewis might not have even seen the field at crunch time Sunday. Suddenly, he’s become a media star.
“I did quite a few radio (interviews) and my cell phone had like 50 texts and 12 voicemails,” Lewis said. “It was crazy, but it was fun that it happened. I’m glad we won, but I’ve moved on pretty much and I’m looking forward to this next game.”
Lewis said he isn’t reading too much into his new-found celebrity. He is aware of his role and, despite earning himself some much-deserved praise for his acrobatic game-winning catch, he doesn’t envision his role with the Vikings offense changing dramatically.
“I’ve always been a third or fourth receiver and I usually don’t play 50 plays, so it’s pretty much my nature just to go in and make a play when I get the opportunity,” Lewis said. “Being third or fourth, you don’t get many (opportunities), so you’ve got the make the most of the ones you do get.”
Lewis said he was watching a lot of television over the past couple of days and estimated he has seen the highlight of the catch 40 or 50 times. He said he was surprised he was able to contort his body to get both feet in bounds because he had no idea how close to the back line he actually was.
“I was amazed my left foot came down inbounds actually,” Lewis said. “I had no idea where it was. The right foot I knew I had dragged, but the left foot was just up in the air.”
Although he may be heading back to relative obscurity behind the likes of Bernard Berrian, Harvin and Sidney Rice, Lewis said if the call comes again, he will again be ready to make his contribution and live up to the motto he has based his playing career on.
“Be prepared at all times, like the Boys Scouts,” Lewis said. “I’m always prepared and that’s the motto I’ve live with throughout my career playing football, whether it be professionally, college or high school.”
Because of the Monday night game this week, the Vikings practice schedule, which typically begins in earnest today, won’t start up until Thursday.
The Vikings were busy making lower-level roster moves Tuesday. The team cut backup center Kory Lichtensteiger and signed center Jon Cooper off the practice squad. In a second move, the team replaced Cooper on the practice squad by signing Central Florida offensive tackle Patrick Brown.
Brown won a competition among offensive linemen that worked out Tuesday, beating out offensive tackles Dan Gay of Baylor, Clint Oldenburg of Colorado State and center Daniel Sanders of Colorado.
In another roster move, the Vikings signed wide receiver Vinny Perretta to the practice squad and released fellow wide receiver Nick Moore. Perretta was one of the final cuts after the last preseason game.
Harvin added his first award to what may turn out to be a long list of awards when he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. He had 180 yards of kick returns on four chances (a 45-yard average), including his 101-yard return for a touchdown that gave the Vikings the lead in the second half. What makes his performance more remarkable is that he was a question mark as late as Sunday morning after missing practice Thursday and Friday with migraine headaches.
The Favre-versus-the-Packers mantra continues. His first meeting against his former team will come Monday and his first trip into Lambeau Field could also garner a huge audience. Originally slated for a noon Central start time Nov. 1, there are rumors the game will be moved to 3:15 p.m. to attract a larger audience.