The Minnesota Vikings have announced that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will return to coach the special teams after serving his suspension. Statement below:
The Minnesota Vikings will reinstate Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer effective Monday, September 15.
The decision by Vikings ownership follows extensive conversations with the independent professional consultants retained to conduct individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual orientation training with Coach Priefer. Those consultants have conveyed to the team that Coach Priefer was fully and thoughtfully engaged throughout the process and successfully completed the program.
Details within the settlement agreement pertaining to the actions by the team remain confidential.
The Vikings, if you recall, settled with former punter Chris Kluwe after allegations about homophobic comments were proven to be true after a lengthy investigation commissioned by the Vikings. The Vikings suspended Priefer for three games, which could be reduced to two after completing sensitivity training and demonstrating commitment to the program.
After the terrifying showing the special teams unit put together against the Patriots—including having nine men on the field on a punt return and having a kick blocked for a touchdown—it couldn’t come at a better time from a performance perspective. As for whether or not the reduction of the suspension was inevitable from the outset, that’s impossible to say.