One day after Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said he felt it was worth a $5,250 fine from the NFL to get people talking about Ray Guy’s omission in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was tiring of Kluwe’s propensity to draw attention to himself.
Kluwe covered over a Pro Football Hall of Fame patch on his uniform Sunday in protest to the Hall of Fame not having Guy as a member. The patch was intended to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary, but Kluwe wrote over it, “Vote Ray Guy.” Kluwe incurred the $5,250 fine from the league for a uniform violation, but he said Wednesday it was worth it. He even researched the amount of the fine before going through with his statement.
Priefer, Kluwe’s coach for the last two seasons, wasn’t laughing about it.
“I don’t even want to talk about that. Those distractions are getting old for me, to be quite honest with you,” Priefer said Thursday. “Do I think Ray Guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. But there’s other ways about going about doing it, in my opinion.”
Guy is widely considered the best punter in the history of the NFL, but no punters are in the Hall of Fame.
Asked if his statement Sunday was worth it, Kluwe on Wednesday said: “I think so. It got people talking about it. I heard the broadcast team talked about it for a bit. Hopefully they will realize, hey, punters aren’t in the Hall of Fame. Maybe we should do something about that.”
In the past year, Kluwe has spoken up for gay rights, ripped the replacement referees, called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, spoken out against drinking and driving in the NFL, and been outspoken on the so-called Bountygate topic, calling former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a “Neanderthal” and “jerk.”
Earlier in the year, Priefer said he doesn’t always agree with Kluwe’s stances, but as long as he was doing his job it wouldn’t be an issue. And now?
“To me, it’s getting old. He’s got to focus on punting and holding,” Priefer said Thursday.
Asked if he has talked to Kluwe about his controversial comments and sometimes unconventional methods of drawing attention to his views, Priefer said, “No. He don’t listen.”
Kluwe told the Associated Press in an e-mail that he understands no one’s job is safe in the NFL.
“All I can do is go out and punt to the best of my ability each game, and that’s how I’ve always approached things,” Kluwe wrote. “If the team ever wants to replace me, they will; I’m under no delusions as to how this business operates. We all get cut eventually.”
Still, he didn’t miss the opportunity to take to Twitter for more commentary: “I want you all to know that I just meditated for 5 hours in the lotus position, solely contemplating football. I feel spiritually cleansed,” he tweeted Thursday night.
Head coach Leslie Frazier acknowledged that he has talked with Kluwe before. “Right now, he knows his focus has to be on the St. Louis Rams,” Frazier said. “He’s assured me that’s where his focus is and we’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
Kluwe is signed through the 2013 season and is making $1.3 million this year and scheduled to make $1.4 million next year, with additional $50,000 workout bonuses each of those years.
PETERSON HELD OUT AGAIN
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was held out of Thursday’s practice after being limited Wednesday with an abdominal injury that showed up on the injury report this week. Frazier said Peterson should be ready to practice Friday. Peterson leads the league with 1,600 rushing yards.
“His abdomen is a little sore so we held him out today,” Frazier said, acknowledging that resting his workhorse running back also figured in the decision to sit Peterson until Friday. “He should be ready to go (Sunday).”
CB Antoine Winfield was reduced to being a practice observer again on Thursday after also sitting out on Wednesday. He has been dealing with a lingering knee injury but hasn’t missed any games this year and has been one of the team’s most-used defenders.
CB A.J. Jefferson returned to the practice field on a limited basis after clearing the NFL’s post-concussion tests. Jefferson suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears. He will start on Sunday.
Joining Jefferson as limited on the injury report: LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), G Charlie Johnson (ankle), RT Phil Loadholt (knee) and TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder).
For the Rams, S Craig Dahl (head) and C Scott Wells (knee) were full participants after not practice Wednesday. CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle) and LB James Laurinaitis (back) didn’t practice. RB Steven Jackson (foot), TE Mike McNeill (thigh) and WR Danny Amendola (foot) were limited.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.