Cornerback A.J. Jefferson was released by the Vikings on Monday hours after he was arrested on a domestic assault complaint.
Jefferson, 25, was arrested at his residence in Eden Prairie when a 23-year-old female reported to police at 4:30 a.m. she was a victim of a domestic assault, according to a statement released by Eden Prairie police. He was held Monday at the Hennepin County jail.
“I can’t really comment on his release or what happens from now on, but we did release him,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.
It’s the second arrest this month for a Vikings player. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson was charged with two counts of drunken driving after a Nov. 9 arrest. The NFL still is reviewing Simpson’s arrest.
Jefferson was acquired from Arizona last season and played in 15 games, starting seven. He struggled for most of this season with ineffective play and injuries, and had one interception, four tackles on defense and four on special teams in 10 games. Jefferson left the Vikings’ 26-26 tie against the Packers on Sunday because of a neck injury. He played only four snaps, one on defense.
The Vikings have only four cornerbacks on the active roster, and rookie Xavier Rhodes suffered a concussion Sunday, forcing safety Robert Blanton to play the nickel position. Frazier said the team could fill the extra roster spot with another corner.
“We’ll definitely have to consider it,” Frazier said. “Even for practice purposes, you get thin enough where you can’t really line up and have the kind of practices that you want to have.”
The Vikings have rookie defensive back Robert Steeples on their practice squad.
Robinson will return
Vikings defensive back Josh Robinson will not be placed on injured reserve despite a fractured sternum that prevented him from playing Sunday.
Frazier received a positive report on Robinson’s recovery and expects him to return before the season ends.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph also could begin practicing next week. He fractured his left foot in Week 9 against the Cowboys and was slated to miss at least four weeks.
“They’re both making good progress, so the IR conversation is kind of on the back burner,” Frazier said.
Rhodes and wide receiver Joe Webb both suffered concussions against Green Bay and will be the team’s biggest health concerns leading to Sunday’s game against the Bears.
Webb headed to the locker room in the second quarter against the Packers, while Rhodes exited during the overtime period. The rookie had four tackles and four pass deflections in the game. Webb played only two snaps before being injured.
Frazier expects safety Harrison Smith, who was placed on injured reserve in October but designated to return, to practice Wednesday. Smith suffered a turf toe injury in Week 6 against the Panthers and has missed six weeks. He must sit out at least two more games before he’s eligible to return Dec. 15 against the Eagles.