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Minnesota Vikings Sign Receiver Charles Johnson

Joe Sargent

With the suspension of running back Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings had an open spot on their 53-man roster. The common wisdom was that said spot was being held for wide receiver Jerome Simpson when he came off of his 3-game suspension. However, since Simpson enjoys getting high and driving drunk more than playing football, the Vikings released him the other day.

The Vikings have grabbed another wide receiver to take that roster spot instead, signing wide receiver Charles Johnson off of the Cleveland Browns' practice squad.

Johnson was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the first pick of the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Cue the "ANOTHER FORMER PACKER HURR HURR HURR jokes.") The Browns signed him off of Green Bay's practice squad in October of 2013, after which it was discovered that he had a torn ACL that caused him to miss the rest of the year. He went through camp and the pre-season with the Browns this year before being cut and re-signed to the practice squad.

Johnson played his college ball at Division II Grand Valley State in Michigan (not Kentucky, which I had earlier because I'm not terribly bright). He was not invited to the NFL's scouting combine, but he had his own pro day and. . .well, he turned some heads.

Johnson (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 and 4.39 seconds. He had a 4.31-second short shuttle and 6.96-second three-cone drill. He had a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot-1 broad jump. He performed 14 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press. The receivers coaches from the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets were present in Allendale, Mich. for the workout.

Johnson's pro-day efforts would have placed him among the top performers at the combine in the 40, vertical jump and broad jump. Before his pro day, Johnson had guaranteed that he'd run a 4.39, reports

Sounds like another project for George Stewart to work on. He's already developed another small-school guy into a roster contributor in Adam Thielen. Maybe he can do the same thing with Charles Johnson.