A familiar face was spotted working out for Vikings personnel staff as coach Leslie Frazier was announcing that outside linebacker Erin Henderson still has not passed his league-mandated concussion tests and will miss a second consecutive game at Detroit on Sunday.
Safety Tyrell Johnson, the team's second round pick (43rd overall) in 2008, was one of three players the team was working out on the nearby practice field. Johnson played with the Vikings through last season before signing with the Dolphins in April. He was released during the preseason and has been staying in shape for the inevitable pileup of NFL injuries.
"It is kind of a strange feeling," Johnson said later as he looked around the locker room. "But it's definitely exciting when you come back in and the team welcomes you back in. All your teammates are happy to see you and give you hugs and stuff. It's a very welcoming feeling just to know you have your teammates still behind you and rooting for you."
Whether Johnson is actually signed is another matter. The Vikings work out several players every week and very few are signed. The team does have some depth issues at safety, however, with Mistral Raymond out three to five weeks with an ankle injury and Andrew Sendejo listed as questionable for Sunday with an ankle injury.
Johnson said he worked out with Detroit a couple of weeks ago. He also said the serious hamstring injury that forced him to have surgery and put on injured reserve last November has healed completely.
"Having this little time off with the family is always good," Johnson said. "But having a job is even better."
Here are some other highlights from today's post-practice access:
- Frazier on his level of concern that Henderson still hasn't passed his concussion tests: "I guess anytime with a concussion, you get a little concerned," Frazier said. "He's had two other concussions, so you hope next week things will be a little bit better. We'll see."
- Raymond (ankle) also was officially listed as out. Listed as questionable were Sendejo and defensive end D'Aundre Reed (calf). Listed as probable were tight end Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps), defensive end Jared Allen (neck), linebacker Marvin Mitchell (ankle) and quarterback Christian Ponder (neck). Frazier said Ponder complained of a sore neck on Wednesday and had it checked out. It's nothing that will affect him against the Lions. Rudolph, Allen, Reed, Mitchell and Ponder all had full participation in practice on Friday.
- Frazier on middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley having to play Henderson's position in the nickel defense for the second consecutive week: "He did a good job [against the 49ers]. He was good in coverage. He did a good job, like he always does against the run, but was not deficient at all in the passing game. As for the passing game this week? He'll be challenged, which is good. He's had a good week of practice."