Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings fullback Jerome Felton apologizes for his weekend arrest

Posted by: under Off the field, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier Updated: June 6, 2012 - 2:13 PM

There's often a predictable rhythm to off-the-field misconduct in the NFL. And so far with Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, everything connected with his weekend misstep has fit the mold.

Late Friday night, Felton was arrested in Eden Prairie and charged with driving while impaired. He refused to submit to a chemical test and spent the night in jail, later released on $12,000 bail.

Saturday morning, when news of Felton's arrest broke, the Vikings issued a formulaic statement on the matter that read: "We are aware of the situation and working to gather more information. We'll have no further comment at this time."

On Tuesday, with the Vikings returning to the practice field for Week 2 of Organized Team Activities at Winter Park, Felton was back in action. And on Wednesday, when OTAs were again open to the media, Felton faced the TV cameras and assembled print reporters and apologized for his mistake.

"I never want to put myself in that kind of situation and shed negative light on this team," Felton said. "The Vikings have been really good to me. The fans have been great. I love it here. And I can't put myself in negative situations that have a not positive impact on the team and the community."

Head coach Leslie Frazier also weighed in on the arrest, in his words "extremely disappointed" with Felton's poor decision.

"We talked about some things when we got together for our first OTA in our meetings and how we wanted to conduct ourselves," he said. "And then when a new guy comes to the club, and he's a veteran guy and something happens like it did over the weekend, it's very disappointing. It's something we'll have to deal with and have to address."

So there you have it, a quick four-part process -- from the original misconduct to the team's vague reaction to the player's public apology to the coach's disapproval and ultimate forgiveness.

Felton said it was still far too early to know anything about potential league discipline for his arrest. But his presence at this week's OTAs is proof the Vikings will give him plenty of opportunity to redeem himself. Frazier said he expects Felton to compete for the starting fullback job and praised Felton's blocking ability.

Now, the fifth-year fullback has to make sure he stays in line off the field.

"Everybody's trying to be positive here," Felton said. "The team's doing a great job with that. And I definitely don't want to be the person who has the negative influence."

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