Jaymar Johnson was planning to head to Bradenton, Fla., this spring to take part in three days of workouts that were organized by first-round pick Christian Ponder at the IMG Madden Football Academy. But when Johnson's son became ill the Vikings wide receiver informed Ponder and fellow receiver Greg Camarillo that he could not attend.
"I told him that my son was sick," Johnson said of a conversation he had with Camarillo. "He was like, ‘You know J don’t worry about it, we’ll only be here for a couple of days. Take care of your son.’ That’s the only reason I missed it."
But Johnson is hoping if the lockout continues, he will be able to get some work with the rookie quarterback in the Twin Cities. Johnson is among a group of players, including several from the NFL, who are training and doing drills nearly every weekday at the University of Minnesota football complex. Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and strength and conditioning specialist Bill Welle have once again organized the workouts.
"I’ve been trying to get [Ponder] to come up here because I’ve been in contact with [Bernard] Bernard, [Visanthe] Shiancoe and all them," Johnson said. "They are going to come up here eventually. So whenever they come here, I’m going to try to get Christian to come up here, too.”
Shiancoe did not attend the "camp" that Ponder put on but he did go to IMG last week to work with the rookie. Berrian also had been expected to head to Bradenton but that did not end up happening.
Johnson, a sixth-round pick of the Vikings in 2008, is eager to get going after spending all of last season on the injured reserve list. He broke his left thumb in the preseason opener at St. Louis and was placed on IR despite the fact he said he was able to catch passes by Week 4.
The only other player from the Vikings at Tuesday's workout was quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and he will be an unrestricted free agent once a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.
Johnson and Jackson also spent time in Arizona this spring working out with Fitzgerald, Welle and others on the Arizona State campus.