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Updated: September 23rd, 2010 9:15pm
Notebook: Vikings lose Mickey Shuler on waivers; Harvin working on punts

Notebook: Vikings lose Mickey Shuler on waivers; Harvin working on punts

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Rookie tight end Mickey Shuler is headed to Miami.

An NFL source on Thursday afternoon said the Dolphins claimed Shuler off waivers from the Vikings, who cut him a day earlier to make room on the 53-man roster for receiver Hank Baskett.

"It's been a wild couple of days for sure," Shuler said in a text message late Thursday night, "but ... I'm excited to get down to Miami and start learning the system and trying to contribute any way I can."

The Vikings kept Shuler -- a seventh-round draft pick who was inactive for both of the Vikings' regular-season games -- as a fourth tight end on the active roster because they wanted to continue developing his balanced skill-set and feared they'd lose him in the main round of cuts on Sept. 4.

Timing didn't end up making a difference. ProFootballTalk.com reported three teams put in claims on Shuler, with Miami awarded waiver priority over the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts based on last year's record.

Shuler is the third player to be claimed off waivers from the Vikings this month. Tackles Patrick Brown (New York Jets) and Chris Clark (Denver Broncos) were claimed on Sept. 4.

Like Shuler, the Vikings hoped to bring back Brown on their practice squad. The Jets waived Brown on Thursday, so he could be back if no one claims him.

Harvin on punts?

Special-teams coordinator Brian Murphy said the plan is stick with the same two punt returners the Vikings used last week, even though Bernard Berrian had his second muff in as many games and Greg Camarillo fumbled one of his two returns.

However, receiver Percy Harvin said he's continued to take punts in practice and expects to get a shot eventually.

"We're repping it," said Harvin, who is the Vikings' primary kickoff returner. "We haven't put it in yet. I think Coach is waiting for everyone to get in sync before we start doing the punt returns and the different packages I'm used to doing. I'm ready for whenever they come."

Baskett's role

Offensive Darrell Bevell said Baskett's playing time this week and ultimate role in the offense "remains to be seen.

"I kind of have a feeling for what he is," Bevell said of Baskett, the tallest receiver on the active roster at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.

"We have a little bit of a feel. Will you see a jump ball up to him? Probably. I'm not going to say we're going to start throwing jump balls up to him to see if he can make the play. He does seem to have that skill-set."

Murphy said Baskett could contribute on coverage units, too.

"He's a big, physical receiver," Murphy said. "I think he gives us some flexibility in terms of giving you reps we typically get out of a safety or linebacker and skill reps. He's got that ability. I think he lends position flexibility and he lends experience and know how."

Quick hits

• DC Leslie Frazier said he flipped CB Lito Sheppard to the left side in the nickel defense last week because Sheppard's more comfortable there. That meant Asher Allen played the entire game on the right side, instead of switching back and forth as he did in the opener at New Orleans. "That's probably the biggest reason, just comfort with the positions," Frazier said.

• The Bodog Sportsbook set up a prop bet on which NFL coach will be fired first, and Vikings coach Brad Childress is on the board at 5-to-1. The others offered are Cleveland's Eric Mangini (3-2), Carolina's John Fox (2-1) and Dallas' Wade Phillips (3-1).

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