Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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The Minnesota Vikings have released their list of inactives, we’re still waiting on the Patriots

Floyd, Sharrif DT Shoulder DNP DNP LP Questionable Active
Harris, Mike T Shoulder LP LP FP Probable Active
Johnson, Charlie G Ankle LP LP FP Probable Active
Line, Zach FB Ankle LP LP FP Probable Released
Mauti, Michael LB Foot LP LP FP Probable Inactive
Peterson, Adrian RB Not Injury Related DNP FP Probable Inactive
Price, Jabari CB Hamstring FP FP FP Probable Active
Rhodes, Xavier CB Groin DNP LP LP Questionable Active
Smith, Rodney WR Hamstring LP Questionable Inactive
Watts, Brandon LB Knee DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Ponder, Christian QB None Inactive
Yankey, David G None Inactive
Crichton, Scott DE None Inactive

Mike Harris being active is new; he was not active the other day. Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes being active is good news after limited practice all week and some questions about their availability.

Last night, the Patriots indicated that starting linebacker Jamie Collins is out, as well as defensive end Michael Buchanan and interior offensive lineman Ryan Wendell. Collins, a starting linebacker, will be difficult to replace given their thin linebacker corps. They released his backup (Darius Fleming) last night and signed Deontae Skinner in his stead. He likely won’t be active, so the only backup linebacker is Chris White. The Patriots will be in nickel whenever it makes sense for them, as Logan Ryan is far better to have on the field in an average situation more than Chris White.

UPDATE: Patriots inactives in:

Buchanan, Michael DL Ankle LP LP LP Questionable Active
Gronkowski, Rob TE Knee LP LP LP Probable Active
Jones, Chris DT Ankle LP LP LP Questionable Active
Siliga, Seaver DT Hand LP LP LP Questionable Released
Wendell, Ryan OL Knee LP LP LP Questionable Inactive
Collins, Jamie LB Thigh LP DNP Questionable Inactive
Dennard, Alfonzo CB None Inactive
Moore, Zach DE None Inactive
Skinner, Deontae LB None Inactive
White, James RB None Inactive
Thompkins, Kenbrell WR None Inactive

With Dennard also out, it really stresses whoever is going to be the eleventh defender for the Patriots, who I expect to be Kyle Arrington more often than Chris White. Kenbrell Thompkins’ absence doesn’t mean much in light of the fact that Aaron Dobson will be in. Though Dobson plays a different role, there shouldn’t be any change in their game plan or in the Vikings’.

Rick Spielman says he didn’t know about the formal allegations against Adrian Peterson (notice the inclusion of the word “formal”) until Friday, which is when the rest of us found out about them.  Spielman says that the organization is still in the process of gathering facts, trying to avoid a knee-jerk reaction, and that all options are still on the table.

“Friday night was the first we heard of the formal allegations against Adrian Peterson, and we decided, as an organization, that to deactivate him this weekend was in the best interests of everybody concerned,” Spielman told Sal Paolantonio.

For all of the reasons that Arif has put forth, releasing Peterson probably makes the best business sense, and maybe even the best football sense.  There could end up being an emotional factor that weighs into the decision, a willingness to help Peterson improve as a person, but it is looking more an more like a release is the likeliest scenario.

Ian Rapoport of NFLN is reporting this morning that the Vikings are willing to keep Peterson deactivated for multiple games, if that best allows them to make an informed decision.

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The news of Adrian Peterson’s indictment will continue to dominate for quite some time.  Still, there are over 60 other players on this team and 15 weeks of football left to be played, so on we move.  This week’s links:


Being the NFL’s best running back does not place Adrian Peterson above the law. It certainly will not gain him any leniency when it comes to the investigative and disciplinarian arms of the NFL.  The court of public opinion won’t hesitate to hang him.  He is not immune to the scorn of his own family and his own children.

That last one, and arguably the most important one, are consequences that might not be fully realized until Peterson’s children are old enough to grasp the idea of forgiveness for themselves.

All the facts are not known. Peterson hasn’t even even addressed the issue, yet.  The legal process is only just beginning, as is the personal conduct review by the NFL and the Vikings.  Still, it seems evident that Adrian Peterson’s legacy has forever changed and irreversible damage has been done.

I’m plenty willing to admit a cultural difference exists between Texas (where Peterson grew up) and Minnesota (where I grew up), and that parenting is an unique challenge that doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but I don’t really care.  As a father of beautiful two and four year old children, you can bet your ass that there would be lawyers (and, perhaps, other things) if anyone ever returned my children to me in the condition described in the police report from this case.

I think what he did was unequivocally wrong and that he has no good excuse for not knowing that, given the events that took place last year when another man beat another one of Peterson’s son to death, and the All Day Foundation’s commitment to Cornerstone and “Breaking the cycle of domestic violence.”

I have pondered in the past about Peterson’s attitude towards off-field trouble and been in favor of punishing him, via benchings and fines, if it meant preventing issues larger than speeding tickets and bar brawls from arising.  Obviously, the punishments that were doled out didn’t do the trick.  I’ve been harsh on him, and other prominent Vikings players, during past instances of off-field turmoil.

I say all of this because what I am about to write might be construed, in the minds of some, as me aligning myself with the crowd sympathetic to Peterson and abusers of children.

I assure you, that is not my intent.

I think the government, the NFL, the team, and the money-spending public should all fairly and justly punish Peterson.  I’m not going to pretend to know what exactly that punishment is, but I’m in favor of just about anything within reason.

However, there are going to be people in each of those groups, and within the Peterson family, that might be inclined to actually help Peterson become a better man and a better father.  If the outrage being expressed by the masses really boils down to the well-being of a young child, then the handling of the punishment and the distribution of support should carry the same priority.

I’m not saying that prison time, or an NFL suspension, or a release from the Vikings are not good options.  I’m saying I don’t know. Only people close to Peterson, those that know him well, can possibly have an idea of what it will take to improve Adrian Peterson as a person.

Many Vikings greats, like Cris Carter and Jared Allen, had to make major changes in their lives before they could be fully respected as football players.  Peterson was already fully respected as a football player, and has lost that respect by most accounts, and has a long ways to go before he earns it back.  It isn’t impossible, though, and for the sake of his children I hope he works his ass off to make it happen.

This stream of thoughts isn’t particularly insightful, and it certainly isn’t well organized, but I’m just as furious and disappointed and conflicted as the rest of you.  I don’t know if Peterson will ever play for the Vikings again, but I do hope that he is able to make peace within his family, even if the healing has to happen over years or decades.

In the end, this is a sad situation, and I really hope it has the best of all possible outcomes.

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