The Vikings have had a rough time on the field this year. They’ve had a rough time off the field, too, with more arrests in the last three weeks than victories for the entire season.
Earlier this week, cornerback A.J. Jefferson was cut after being arrested for domestic violence. Earlier this month, and previously unknown to the media, linebacker Erin Henderson generated a blood-alcohol reading of 0.11 percent after a traffic stop.
According to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Henderson’s license was stripped but he has not yet been arrested or charged with a crime. In a move that could be described only as ballsy, Henderson has sued for the restoration of his license. He contends that the authorities did not have probable cause to explore that which the testing confirmed: Henderson was over the legal limit.
Henderson missed Sunday’s game against the Packers for personal reasons. The team’s leading tackler in 2013, Henderson was replaced by Audie Cole.
Combined with a November 9 DUI arrest for receiver Jerome Simpson, the Vikings have decided to speak out.
“The fact that we have had three recent off field situations is unacceptable and disappointing,” G.M. Rick Spielman said in a statement issued by the team earlier on Wednesday. “Our organization looks at each situation and the circumstances involved to determine our actions with those players and how to best move forward.
“The Vikings have a comprehensive approach with our player development program and excellent resources that are a part of this organization, but certainly we will take a methodical look at how we can improve upon our current programs to prevent these situations in the future.”
The best evidence that the current programs aren’t working is that the incidents are happening. And a mixture of a poor performance on the field and embarrassing performances off the field can and will be used against everyone in a position of influence within the organization.