With Sidney Rice sideline because of a hip injury and Percy Harvin having missed extended time during training camp and the preseason, the Vikings WR position has gone from one of the deeper spots on the team to a position in need of some depth for the time being.
To address that situation, the Vikings have signed WR Javon Walker, a 9-year veteran who’s been with the Green Bay Packers (2002-2005), Denver Broncos (2006-2007) and Oakland Raiders (2008-2009). With the Vikings, Walker is re-united with QB Brett Favre. The tandem was successful in Green Bay, hooking up for TDs 20 times.
To make room for Walker, the Vikings waived RB Ryan Moats.
Walker hasn't been an impact NFL player since 2006, and we aren't expecting him to suddenly produce now that he's with the Vikings. Walker will likely have less fantasy impact than Greg Lewis, which isn't saying much. Don't draft Walker based on his name. The stats wont follow.
Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe created a minor stir this week when he tweeted about the fact he was working out with free-agent running back Brian Westbrook.
Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett also has been participating in the workouts -- it's not exactly uncommon for players from various teams to train together -- but there long has been a feeling the Vikings might have interest in Westbrook and the link to Shiancoe created some speculation.
The tie-in between the Vikings and Westbrook stems from the fact coach Brad Childress knows Westbrook from their time together in Philadelphia when Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Minnesota also lost valuable backup Chester Taylor to Chicago in free agency and at one point was considered to be in the market for help at running back.
However, the reality is the Vikings have expressed no known interest in Westbrook and drafted Toby Gerhart in the second round of this year's draft. The Vikings also recently signed veteran running back Ryan Moats, who also played with the Eagles when Childress was in Philadelphia. Then there is the fact that Adrian Peterson remains the team's top back.
Westbrook, who battled concussion problems last season and also has dealt with knee and ankle injuries, has received interest from St. Louis and Washington.
Shiancoe, though, wrote that he thought Westbrook could help the Vikings when asked about the running back during a chat Friday on NFL.com.
"We work out five days a week, and I know he definitely has it in him," Shiancoe said. "He's indicated to me this is the first time he's been able to workout at 100 percent without having to worry about previous injuries. He's working hard, and it looks like he's in camp shape. His route running would definitely help our offense."
Shiancoe is not afraid to offer his opinion, but at the moment the Vikings don't seem inclined to sign Westbrook. Westbrook could help fantasy squads if he lands with the right team.
The Vikings, by drafting running back Toby Gerhart and then signing RB Ryan Moats, could be preparing for an Adrian Peterson contract holdout.
Peterson missed four days of minicamp, much to the chagrin of head coach Brad Childress. According to what he told the Tulsa World newspaper, "It's over with."
Based on that, Peterson should be there when camp opens, but perhaps the Vikings aren't convinced. With the loss of Chester Taylor to Chicago, the Vikes were in need of some RB depth anyway, and Moats had connections to Childress from his days with the Eagles. Obviously, Peterson is a top-two fantasy back so it's worth paying attention to.