Veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard is visiting the Detroit Lions according to a tweet from the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora. LaCanfora also reports the Vikings, Bears and Raiders could emerge as suitors for Sheppard.
This makes sense given the Vikings are looking to add depth at corner with starters Antoine Winfield (foot) and Cedric Griffin (torn ACL) coming off injuries. We had an hour-plus of access to the Vikings strength and conditioning program today and although we did not get a chance to talk to Griffin he looked to be walking just fine. The issue with ACL injuries, of course, is being able to cut and the Vikings are not doing any football-related activities at this point.
The Vikings, who have Asher Allen, Benny Sapp and DeAndre Wright as their backup corners, attempted to sign free agent Tye Hill but he elected to join the Tennessee Titans. Sheppard spent last season with the New York Jets and started nine of the 11 games in which he played. He finished with eight passes broken up and one interception. Sheppard had spent the previous seven seasons with the Eagles, including four in which Brad Childress was Philadelphia's offensive coordinator.
The waiting game
Quarterback Brett Favre sent pairs of Wrangler jeans to his teammates -- "I need to break them in a little bit, they are kind of stiff," punter Chris Kluwe joked -- but what Favre hasn't sent is word of whether he plans to play in 2010.
"Honestly, you can't worry about things that aren't in your control," wide receiver Greg Lewis said. "I can focus on Greg and Greg being here, working out, trying to get better, as well as the other guys that are here trying to get better and working out. Brett is taking his time, doing his thing. I'm pretty sure he's working out, he's thinking about his situation and how it's going to affect his family and that's more power to him. He has that opportunity so go ahead and do it."
Asked if there would be a point at which it would be a problem that Favre hadn't made up his mind, Lewis said, "It's not my decision on how long or whatever. I can't worry about it. We have to get better and prepare to get better as a team each day that we are out here. So whoever is here we are trying to get better and that's the way we're looking at it."
Lewis said he does not have a gut feeling on what Favre might do and expressed support for backup quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. "I'm confident in Sage and Tarvaris, as well as Brett and as well as whoever they bring in," Lewis said. "I have confidence in all my teammates that come in and I hope they have the same confidence in me. So, I'm not worried about it."
On the move
Darius Reynaud appears to have put on some upper-body strength as a result of his move from wide receiver to running back. Reynaud said one of the reasons why the coaching staff shifted him to his high school position was that he served in the role of Reggie Bush on the scout team during the week leading up to the NFC Championship Game.
The theme from players coming off the Vikings' overtime loss to the Saints in the NFC title game already has been made clear and it's this: "We've moved on."
Lewis said he has not gone back and watched the game. "I don't plan on it either," he said. "I was there, I saw how it ended, it was unfortunate but we've moved on. It's a new season, a new chapter for us and hopefully we look to get further this year."
Said Farwell when asked if he might watch the Saints loss at some point: “Never. I don’t know if I ever will. Never get over that game. … That’s a game we should have won. We felt like we should have won it.”
-- Players attending these sessions, many veterans joined Monday, aren't just getting in a light workout. Tom Kanavy, the Vikings' head strength and conditioning coach, is making sure of that. Lewis, running back Ian Johnson and punter Chris Kluwe were among the players who looked worn out after they completed a portion of the workout in the indoor practice facility at Winter Park. The exercises include heavy, long wall-mounted ropes that players move with their arms, as if they are leading a sleigh. That gives them a full body cardio workout. There also are rope machines set up against another wall that look more typical of something you would see in a exercise facility. Those machines focus on the arms. "It's going to help a lot of people, it's going to train different parts of their body and help them to be better football players," Lewis said. "It's like mountain climbing and throwing a rope somewhere. You don't do that playing football but it's training your muscles in different ways and hopefully it helps."
-- Defensive end Mike Montgomery will wear No. 99. James Johnson and wide receiver Taye Biddle have not been assigned numbers yet.