Minnesota Vikings Sign Veteran Receiver Javon Walker
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Javon Walker after learning that star receiver Sidney Rice would be sidelined for half of the season because of hip surgery.
The signing came four days after Walker worked out for the team along with free agent Brandon Jones, who later signed with Seattle.
Walker began practicing with the team Tuesday and is expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. After having a few disappointing season's over the past few years, Walker appears to have a great chance at resurrecting his career in Minnesota.
One advantage for Walker is that he will have quarterback Brett Favre throwing passes to him.
Walker's best season came in 2006 as a member of the Green Bay Packers with Favre when he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Walker will provide the team with a veteran presence at receiver, a position where the Vikings are suddenly lacking depth. Along with the loss of Rice, the team is still uncertain about the status of Percy Harvin, who has been suffering form migraine-related symptoms, and third-year player Jaymar Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve after breaking his left thumb.
Walker, who is in his ninth season, is instantly the most experienced receiver on the Vikings.
Veterans Greg Lewis and Bernard Berrian are entering their eighth and seventh years, respectively. Aside from Logan Payne (three years), the team doesn't have any other receivers with more than one year of experience.
Walker was drafted in 2002 by the Green Bay Packers and was traded to the Denver Broncos after an injury-plagued 2005 season in which he had a public fallout with Favre. Favre criticized Walker for holding out from training camp, which lead to the trade with Denver.
Walker only played in 35 games over the next four seasons with Denver and the Oakland Raiders.
Walker has 267 career receptions for 4,011 yards and 31 touchdowns and hopes to play a big role for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
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