Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson, who broke the femur in his left leg in December, might be active when the Vikings hold their first practice of training camp on Friday. But odds are strong that cornerback Cedric Griffin will open camp on the physically unable to perform list because of knee surgery.
There were questions about whether Henderson ever would play again after his injury in a Dec. 6 game at Arizona, but he was able to do limited work in the Vikings minicamp in June and made it clear he planned to be on the field for the start of camp in Mankato.
Coach Brad Childress watched Henderson go through drills on Wednesday and said the veteran had "maybe just a little hitch," but that was it.
"He won't have any trouble cutting it loose," Childress said. "He's so adamant about wanting to be out there Day 1. He feels like he's lifted all these weights, done all the running, all the rehab and now you've got to play football. The only way to play football is to play football."
Childress and the Vikings medical staff plan to discuss Henderson's situation this week before making a determination.
If Henderson were to open camp on the "active" PUP, he would be allowed to rehab and take part in meetings but could not practice. The move would not impact his status for the regular season, and Henderson would count against the 80-man limit. Players placed on the "reserve" PUP at the end of the preseason aren't eligible to play for the first six weeks of the season and don't count against the 53-man roster.
Griffin is likely to be on the "active" PUP come Friday in order to give him more time to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in his left knee on the opening kickoff of overtime in the NFC title game.
"As we sit here today, I can't see what merit it would have to have him out there running around," Childress said.
Griffin was hurt on Jan. 24, and ACL tears are projected as six- to nine-month injuries. The Vikings aren't going to want to take any chances with Griffin's recovery by rushing him. Lito Sheppard, Asher Allen and Benny Sapp all stand to get reps with the first-team defense at right corner if Griffin isn't active at the start of camp.Etc.
• Wide receiver Bernard Berrian, whose average yards per catch dropped from an NFL-leading 20.1 in 2008 to 11.2 last season as he battled hamstring injuries, said he is "perfectly fine now," and "ready to go" for training camp.
• The Vikings will wait to see how wide receiver Sidney Rice (hip) feels when he arrives at training camp before making any determination about whether to go slow with him. Rice was injured in the playoffs and has seen specialists, who did not believe the injury required surgery.
• The Vikings agreed to terms with seventh-round draft pick Mickey Shuler Jr., a tight end out of Penn State, on a four-year deal. Shuler's signing bonus will be around $63,000. The Vikings have reached deals with three of their eight picks, including linebacker Nate Triplett (fifth round) and fullback (seventh round). Second-rounders Chris Cook (cornerback) and Toby Gerhart (running back) have yet to come to terms.