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Charles Johnson Healthy and Ready to Produce

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — There were plenty of smiles in the Vikings locker room last season as the team went 11-5 and claimed the NFC North division title.

One of the smiling faces belonged to wide receiver Charles Johnson, even as he battled a rib injury that forced him to miss five games. 

Speaking after Wednesday's organized team activity practice at Winter Park, Johnson said he's now healthy and was happy to see his teammates succeed in 2015.

"I grew frustrated a little bit, as anybody would," Johnson said. "I'm a competitor and want to be out there and help my team win.

"But it's hard to be too frustrated when you're winning games," he added. "That's the biggest thing for me, if we're winning games, then I'm happy. We went out there and won a lot of games."

Johnson sustained the injury in September against San Diego and said the recovery process was more painful than expected.

"It's hard to smile, let alone do anything else," Johnson said. "I tried to push through it a little bit if I could, but if I was running or (with) certain movements it would keep coming out.

"It's part of the game. You get injuries, and we all know that," he added. "You have to keep fighting back and battle through it."

Johnson, who finished with nine catches for 127 yards, also said he welcomes the constant competition at his position. The Vikings drafted Laquon Treadwell and Moritz Böhringer last month and also have returned all but one receiver from the 53-man roster last season. 

"The NFL is a revolving door," Johnson said. "There's going to be new people every day.

"I already knew somebody was going to be here eventually so it doesn't matter to me. I feel like everyone is in a competition with me because I set my own standards," he added.

Griffin ready to battle for starting job

The Vikings have a number of options as to who could start at safety opposite Pro Bowler Harrison Smith in the secondary.

One of the candidates is Michael Griffin, who was signed as a free agent from Tennessee in March.

Griffin, who has 912 career tackles and 25 career interceptions, said after Wednesday's practice that he's embracing the competition in the secondary.

"This is a great team. I'm just here to play and compete," Griffin said. "There's nothing given. That's what I like about this team. The best man is going to play.

"That's one thing I can appreciate and accept. May the best man win, but at the same time, they play together," he added. "There's no selfishness. You see guys talking and communicating and helping each other out, and that's one thing I feel that plays a big part in teams winning ball games."

Griffin has worked with the second team during the first two days of OTAs, while Smith and 2015 starter Andrew Sendejo, who was re-signed to a multiyear deal this offseason, worked with the first team.

Wednesday's top plays

The Vikings first-team defense had the highlight of the day late in Wednesday's practice when linebacker Eric Kendricks dove and tipped a Teddy Bridgewater pass into the waiting hands of cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.

Here are a few other noteworthy plays from Wednesday's session:

— Safety Anthony Harris showed good range and picked off a pass along the left sideline while helping cover tight end Kyle Rudolph.

— Rookie linebacker Kentrell Brothers made a good read and had an easy interception off quarterback Taylor Heinicke in team drills.

— Tight end David Morgan II didn't make any spectacular catches, but the rookie managed to find windows in the defense on a few occasions during practice.

— Wide receiver Isaac Fruechte showed strong hands by bringing down a pass that was thrown into tight coverage. 

— Veteran cornerback Terence Newman and his 14 years of experience got the best of Treadwell on one play when Newman managed to knock away a pass at the last second.

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