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Cordarrelle Patterson benched for Charles Johnson

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Cordarrelle Patterson's swoon into the abyss rages on in Minnesota.

After the Vikings' second-year receiver played just three of 50 snaps in Sunday's win over the Panthers, Patterson has been benched.

Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner told reporters Thursday that from-the-wilderness pass-catcher Charles Johnson has taken over Minnesota's "X" receiver position.

"C.J. is playing at a high level," Turner said, per ESPN.com's Ben Goessling. "C.J. is the starter at X. That's the position Cordarrelle plays. We're going to do what we can to give him some opportunities to play there, but C.J.'s playing at a real high level right now."

Johnson leads the Vikings with 22 targets over the past three games, hauling in 11 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.

It marks the first significant action for Johnson after the former Packers draft pick and physical freak spent last season stashed away on the reserve/non-football injury list with the Browns. The Vikings snatched him off Cleveland's practice squad in September and eased him into action. It wasn't a shocking pickup after Turner spent last season calling plays for the Browns with Johnson in the building.

Beyond missing practice last week for a family matter, Patterson has only himself to blame for the demotion. Our top "Making the Leap" candidate has struggled with the playbook and route-running while averaging just 2.5 catches and 29.2 yards per outing this season.

"I hope I get more playing time than I did last week -- only three reps," Patterson said. "That's not always good. We'll see how this week goes."

Running out of chances to make good on his promising athleticism this season, Patterson feels like a lost cause in 2014.

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