Jaymar Johnson loses punt return job, lands among Vikings' first cuts
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Once again, Jaymar Johnson came up short in his bid to be the Minnesota Vikings' punt returner.
The Vikings have informed Johnson he will be waived, an NFL source said on Friday night.
Johnson, 27, appeared to make strides physically after missing last season with a broken thumb. But he faded after a strong start to training camp and mostly was invisible after a 40-yard punt return in the exhibition opener at Tennessee.
A sixth-round draft pick in 2008, Johnson never parlayed his exceptional speed into the return role the Vikings envisioned. He appeared in his only six career games in 2009, catching one pass and averaging 8.4 yards on 16 punt returns.
Johnson's release indicates cornerback Marcus Sherels has won the punt-return job, although the Vikings surely will have their eyes on the waiver wire and the street as NFL teams cut to 53 players by 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Vikings' cutdown process began around mid-afternoon on Friday. Running back Tristan Davis, end David Akinniyi, guard Byron Isom, cornerback Devon Torrence and safety Ryan Hill">Ryan Hill were informed they will be waived, NFL sources said on Friday, while former Gophers end Stylez G. White posted on Twitter he has been released.
The Vikings began the day with 80 players. They picked up a roster spot for the short term when defensive tackle Kevin Williams was suspended for the season's first two games, leaving 26 roster moves to go.
Akinniyi, Isom, Torrence and Hill are undrafted rookies. Torrence, who received a $9,000 bonus, probably had the best chance of the group before he suffered a quadriceps injury in the preseason.
Davis is a first-year pro was previously has been in camps with Detroit and Miami. White, 32, signed with the Vikings on Aug. 22 and had a sack on Saturday night but was buried at a deep position.
The Vikings are expected to continue making cuts gradually until close to Saturday's deadline.