EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings aren’t waiting around to beef up their ailing receivers corps.
The Vikings acquired receiver Greg Camarillo from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for cornerback Benny Sapp on Wednesday, one day after signing veteran free agent Javon Walker. The deal is contingent upon both players passing a physical.
Minnesota has little choice: Pro Bowler Sidney Rice will miss at least the first half of the season after having hip surgery Monday, and Percy Harvin hasn’t practiced much because of recurring migraines, leaving Brett Favre without his top two targets with just two weeks left in the exhibition season.
Camarillo rebounded from a torn ACL in 2008 to catch 105 passes for 1,165 yards and two touchdowns over the last two years. He is more of a slot receiver than a deep threat, which would make him a more realistic fit to replace Harvin than the 6-foot-4 Rice, whose leaping ability and athleticism contributed to a breakout season last year.
The sure-handed Camarillo did not drop a pass last season.
“We have to get on board together rather quickly, obviously,” Favre said after practice on Wednesday, referring to a handful of new receivers he has to get to know before the Sept. 9 season opener. “It will be tougher. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. It will be tougher than we had hoped. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Harvin returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since he collapsed during practice last week. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, remained there overnight and did not travel with the team to San Francisco for the preseason game on Sunday night.
Harvin had some additional tests performed this week, but it is still impossible to predict when the headaches will surface and tests are still being done. He missed one game during the regular season last year, but still racked up more than 2,000 total yards and won the AP offensive rookie of the year award.
“It happened to work out good for both teams,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “I don’t think from our standpoint you give away a Greg Camarillo if you don’t feel like you’re getting value in return. And vice versa.”
Camarillo was a starter the past two years. Last season he made 50 catches for 552 yards and no touchdowns. He’ll be best remembered in Miami for his 64-yard touchdown catch in overtime against Baltimore for the Dolphins‘ lone victory in 2007.
Sapp will provide depth for Miami at cornerback behind second-year starters Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Veteran cornerback Will Allen is coming back from knee surgery and recently underwent a follow-up arthroscopic procedure, and he’s expected to be sidelined until at least the end of the exhibition season.
Sapp played in all 16 games for Minnesota last season and started seven when Antoine Winfield went down with a foot injury. He filled in admirably, but fell behind youngsters Asher Allen and Chris Cook early in training camp in the race for the nickel job.
“You get a guy that has some position flexibility,” Sparano said of Sapp. “He’s played corner and started some games at corner in this league, handled a large number of plays last season, played in some playoff games and also plays inside in the nickel. I think he has a little bit of position flex in that way and plays special teams.”
___View Entire Story
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall