Fullback Felton apologizes for drunken-driving arrest

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 7, 2012 - 5:29 AM
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Jerome Felton (right) apologized for his weekend arrest and said he knows he let his teammates and coaching staff down.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

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Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, arrested in Eden Prairie and charged with driving while impaired late Friday night, apologized Wednesday when the media had access to organized team activities.

"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."

Coach Leslie Frazier was "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."

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. "I definitely don't want to be the person who has the negative influence."

Highlight of the day

Receiver Jerome Simpson delivered the most impressive play Wednesday during 11-on-11 scrimmage time.

With Simpson matched one-on-one with cornerback Chris Cook, quarterback Christian Ponder lofted a pretty bomb up the right sideline. Cook appeared to have perfect coverage. Yet at the last instant Simpson jumped over the top of the 6-2, 212-pound defensive back and pulled the ball in over Cook's head.

The play was greeted with impressed howls from players on both sides of the ball.

"Anybody that witnessed that play today, you've got to get jacked up," Frazier said. "That was an incredible play and one of the reasons we get excited about him. We're hoping to see that on Sunday afternoons, plays like that."

Notable absences

Arguably, the Vikings' four best players were absent from Wednesday's workout.

Jared Allen, who also missed all of last week's OTAs, was not in attendance. Neither was Adrian Peterson, who is back in Houston this week continuing his knee rehab.

Chad Greenway attended Tuesday's practice but called Frazier on Wednesday morning with news that he had to tend to what the head coach labeled as "a serious matter" in his family.

Finally, receiver Percy Harvin, who attended last week's OTAs and practiced Tuesday, was a no-show. That, Frazier said, had nothing to do with Harvin's shoulder, on which he had minor arthroscopic surgery in late April.

"Nothing that I'm aware of regarding his shoulder," Frazier said. "Just, it's a voluntary camp."

Etc.

• Rookie receiver Greg Childs remains out of action dealing with a lingering calf strain suffered during rookie minicamp last month. Childs' 2010 season at Arkansas was cut short because of a torn patellar tendon in his right knee, an injury that limited his effectiveness as a senior as well.

• Running back Toby Gerhart said he has maintained his playing weight of about 230 pounds during this offseason. But Gerhart sure looks bigger in his upper body and said he has made an effort to add more lean mass. In the four games Peterson missed because of injury in 2011, Gerhart averaged 18 carries and 73 rushing yards.

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