Notebook: Despite lack of production, Vikings not pursuing help at receiver
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings' receivers were virtually invisible in Thursday's 14-9 loss at New Orleans, but coach Brad Childress says he doesn't anticipate bringing in someone else.
"I'm not thinking that way right now," Childress said on Friday. "I'm not thinking about adding another body."
Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Greg Lewis had one catch each for a combined 56 yards against the Saints. Brett Favre threw their way 12 times, but the only Vikings to register multiple catches were tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (four for 76 yards) and running backs Adrian Peterson (three for 14) and Albert Young (two for 11).
Several of Favre's passes were off target, Berrian had a drop, Harvin cut off a route and the Saints did their part by rolling coverage toward the outside receivers when they were in two-deep zones.
"I know those (receivers) weren't as involved as we would have liked them involved," Childress said, "but I think it had something to do with how they were kind of playing their coverage."
Camarillo's lack of involvement was particularly notable two weeks after the Vikings acquired him in a trade that sent cornerback Benny Sapp to the Miami Dolphins, days after top receiver Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery that will sideline him until midseason.
Camarillo did have the longest catch by a Vikings receiver -- 29 yards on a corner route in the fourth quarter -- but he also played the fewest snaps of the group.
"I'd say, 'Yeah, he's still getting up to speed,'" Childress said. "I would think that you will see more and more. If we had played more snaps, I think you would have seen him more."
There is still a chance the Vikings at some point could bring back veteran receiver Javon Walker, although Childress last week indicated the team was looking at younger options.
"There's a waiver wire every day," Childress said. "If we feel like there's a guy that we can add, we will, and a guy we can subtract, we will. That goes with our practice squad all the way through our 53. I'm not against adding a good football player that I think can add to us."
Favre goes home
Childress confirmed that Favre returned to his Mississippi home on Thursday night rather than traveling with the team back to Minnesota.
Favre's wife, Deanna, and other family members were at the Superdome.
Asked how long Favre will be gone, Childress said, "Long enough to christen his grandchild, I think, and get back to town here."
He has plenty of time -- the Vikings don't have another practice scheduled until Monday. They'll also be off on Tuesday, then resume a normal workweek on Wednesday in advance of their Sept. 19 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
The Saints targeted him in coverage early, but middle linebacker E.J. Henderson "played exceptionally" in his first full game since returning from a fractured femur, Childress said.
"Showed up at a lot of different spots," Childress said. "I can think of one or two instances where you would have liked him to play something a little bit differently, but I thought he was very active."
Henderson was replaced by Ben Leber for some snaps in the nickel defense, but Childress said that was part of a normal rotation that probably will continue.
"There's no downside to rolling those guys and keeping them all fresh through there," Childress said.
Running back Toby Gerhart is "close" to returning from the knee injury he suffered in the Vikings' third preseason game on Aug. 28, Childress said, while the timetable for cornerback Chris Cook to return for his knee injury remains up in the air.
"Until he gets out here on Monday and moves around, I wouldn't know that," Childress said. "I know how he's progressing in the training room and on land but to play the game is a whole different thing."
• RE Jared Allen sat out a handful of snaps on Thursday as the Vikings tried to utilize their depth. Childress acknowledged it's a tough sell to Allen, who plays as many snaps as any end in the league, "but he's a team guy. He's not particularly happy with it, but I think it'll pay dividends as we go down the road."
• Childress wouldn't address an NBC report that Harvin's migraine issues have been related to sleep apnea and that his heart stopped for 10 seconds on the day he collapsed on the practice field. "I don't know enough about it to talk about that," Childress said. "He had a lotta, lotta tests and that may have been one of the factors but I'm not enough of a neurologist to know that that's specifically it. If he never has another one, maybe I'd say that. But never and always are a long time, so check back with me in about 100 years."
• Childress said CBs Asher Allen and Lito Sheppard were "exceptional" in Cook's absence against the Saints. "I think they can do some things better fundamentally and technique-wise out there," Childress said, "but I thought they did a decent job out there."
• A day after declaring Husain Abdullah is the Vikings' strong safety, Childress said he expects Jamarca Sanford to continue pushing for time once he's over the ankle injury that's limited him in practice the past two weeks. "We thought it was a win to be able to get him up as a four-phase special teams guy," Childress said. "We didn't necessarily load him down. He practiced at that position, but he had a good training camp and I'm sure he'll continue to push."
• Berrian muffed a punt on Thursday, but Childress said that wasn't enough to shake his confidence in the veteran receiver. Camarillo also is an option, and Harvin may get a shot at some point, too. "That would probably be a week to week decision on who we have back there," Childress said.
• LB Erin Henderson was fined $5,000 for throwing the ball into the Metrodome stands after his fumble-return touchdown on Sept. 2 against Denver.