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Updated: August 10th, 2011 12:36pm
Charlie Johnson battles sore hip, gets beat by Everson Griffen, too

Charlie Johnson battles sore hip, gets beat by Everson Griffen, too

by Tom Pelissero
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Charlie Johnson has been beaten down plenty during training camp. Now the Minnesota Vikings' new left tackle is a little beat up, too.

Johnson dropped out of Wednesday's morning practice at least twice, at one point leaving the field briefly to receive attention in the trainers' tent.

"His hip was bothering him a little bit, but nothing serious," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He came back in and finished practice. So, he should be fine."

When Johnson was on the field, he once again had some rough moments -- this time against backup end Everson Griffen, as the Vikings pitted their second-team defense against the starting offense during most team (11-on-11) drills.

The offense's 2-minute drive stalled after Griffen beat Johnson with a speed move to get a touch-sack on Donovan McNabb. On the offense's next snap, Patrick Brown replaced Johnson at left tackle and promptly gave up another sack to Griffen.

"My main focus every day is just kind of working on different situations every day, and (Wednesday) was the 2-minute/blitz situations, stuff like that," said Johnson, who returned to the lineup for the final team period.

"It's going well, and I feel like I'm picking up the offense pretty well. It's been a good camp."

Johnson declined to discuss his injury, referring questions to the team's training staff. He mostly played left tackle with the Indianapolis Colts but also saw action at guard, which better suits his 6-foot-4, 305-pound frame.

The Vikings signed Johnson to a three-year contract on Aug. 1 -- a day before cutting longtime left tackle Bryant McKinnie -- and quickly penciled him in at the most difficult position along the line.

Asked if he's most comfortable at left tackle, Johnson hesitated and then said, "Missing a whole summer because of the lockout, I do think it hurts the players -- not getting used to those reps that you would get during the summer. So, coming in this year, you're kind of playing catch-up. Once you've got that rust off, you start bringing it back and you start feeling better."

Another starting offensive lineman, left guard Steve Hutchinson, also took a few snaps off -- but none during team drills -- as the Vikings monitor his sore pectoral muscle and shoulder.

Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), linebacker Kenny Onatolu (foot) and right guard Anthony Herrera (knee/triceps), who is on the camp/physically unable to perform list, also sat out. Safeties Tyrell Johnson (hamstring) and Simeon Castille">Simeon Castille (hamstring) returned.

Starting safety Husain Abdullah missed practice while traveling to Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama's annual Iftar dinner celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He's expected to rejoin the Vikings on Thursday night, Frazier said.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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