EAGAN, Minn. -- Laquon Treadwell got a wake-up call on Aug. 31.
That was the day the Vikings waived the wide receiver with a year left on his contract and $1.15 million of it guaranteed. It looked to be the end of the line in Minnesota for Treadwell, a disappointment after being taken with the No. 23 pick in the 2016 draft.
But Treadwell got a second chance. The Vikings re-signed him after placing Chad Beebe on injured reserve with an ankle injury on Sept. 24.
In his first five games back, Treadwell caught just two passes. But last Sunday, when Adam Thielen’s hamstring injury kept him out after the first quarter, Treadwell caught three passes for a career-high 58 yards in a 26-23 loss at Kansas City.
Thielen won’t play Sunday night at Dallas, and Treadwell hopes to again be a contributor. He said he has a different attitude in his second stint with the Vikings.
“When I was released before, that showed me that nothing is promised,” said Treadwell, who caught 56 passes for 517 yards in his first three seasons. “That showed me a different perspective. … Before I was like, ‘Oh, I can do this all day and it’s guaranteed.’ That was the wrong perspective.
“When an opportunity is given, you have to make the most of that chance. It’s not a second chance, it’s my only chance. That’s the perspective I’ve got to take.”
With that in mind, Treadwell said he’s not looking over his shoulder at what might happen the rest of the season. Thielen, initially hurt Oct. 20 at Detroit, will eventually return to health.
Josh Doctson, who was signed Sept. 3 as a free agent and quickly suffered a hamstring injury in practice, is expected to be activated off injured reserve Saturday and be eligible to make his Vikings debut Sunday. Beebe is eligible to return Dec. 2 at Seattle.
“Anything can be a distraction, but I’m not letting things be anymore,” Treadwell said. “My focus is on football. I haven’t even been on social media; that shows you how much I’m dialed in.”
Treadwell is playing under a prorated minimum contract of $720,000. But he won’t get any extra money this season other than the $1.15 million he would receive whether he played football or not.
Stefon Diggs and rookie Olabisi Johnson will be Sunday’s starters, with Treadwell as the potential No. 3 receiver. That could change depending upon how the Vikings view Doctson.
“I’m feeling great,” said Doctson, who got some work in practice with the first-team offense this week. “I know what to expect this week. So, if they call my name, I’ll be ready.”
Nevertheless, Treadwell showed against the Chiefs there remains hope that he can be productive with the Vikings.
“It was all about preparation,” he said. ‘I just knew exactly the coverage they were in, I knew exactly how (the defensive back) was going to play me. I used it to my advantage and made plays for the team.”
Treadwell, however, didn’t catch a pass in the second half and dropped one. But his overall play made the Chiefs account for him; quarterback Kirk Cousins completed passes to eight different players. Two were third-down completions to Treadwell for 26 and 13 yards.
“It was really exciting because both were big downs we needed to convert on,” Johnson said. “It was just great to see him get back in the groove.”
There is a chance Treadwell doesn’t even will finish the season with the Vikings, but he hasn’t given up hope of having a long career in Minnesota.
“That’s always been my goal, to play for one team and just build a career with one team and leave a standing impact in the community and with my teammates and coaches,” he said. “This is the place that I’ve always wanted to be.”