Vikings co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson said Tuesday's release of cornerback and 2020 first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney will have zero impact on the defense.
"Because he hasn't been here," Patterson said. "It's sad to say, but the NFL is 'out of sight, out of mind.' "
Gladney was indicted Tuesday on a felony assault charge of family violence in a case involving his girlfriend. About four hours later, the Vikings released him. Gladney has not been present for any team activities since his arrest in April.
"The train keeps moving," Patterson shrugged. "It never stops for anybody. That's just the way this league is. He hasn't been here, he hasn't been practicing, so he hasn't been around our group."
Patterson said the only impact would be any personal relationships teammates had with Gladney.
"But when it comes to the football part of it, he hasn't been here, so it really hasn't been an adjustment factor there," Patterson said.
Gladney, drafted with the 31st pick out of Texas Christian last year, played in all 16 games last year, starting 15.
Asked if it's hard to see a young player get released like that, Patterson said, "No, because it's just the way this league is."
But he added, "I feel sorry that he's in the situation that he's in, but me, personally, if it's true, I don't. That's just the truth of the matter. That's just who I am as a human being. I don't know. I don't know if it's true or it's not true. But if it's true, you know, you're a grown man. If you put yourself in those kinds of positions, then you got to pay the consequences. That's just the way life is. So there's no sorrow in my heart."
Gladney's agent, Brian Overstreet, said in a statement Tuesday: "The Vikings did what they thought was best for their organization, which we respect, but we still believe in Jeff Gladney's innocence. We look forward to his day in court so that he can clear his name."
Coach Mike Zimmer said it stings that the team had to part with a first-round draft pick who was entering his second season. It's the second time this year that the team said good-bye to a 24-year-old former first-round draft pick at cornerback. They traded injury-prone Mike Hughes in the spring.
"Anytime you spend a draft pick on a guy and he isn't with you with some kind of career-ending injury or something," Zimmer said, "it always hurts because those high draft picks are like — [General Manager] Rick [Spielman] thinks they're like gold so you got to hit on those guys every time."
Safety Harrison Smith echoed Patterson's "out of sight, out of mind" feelings when asked about Gladney's release.
"You just focus on the guys who are here and what we can do each day in practice," Smith said. "It's not a player deal. We're just trying to figure out our coverage reads."
Barr sits; Davis returns
Linebacker Anthony Barr was held out of Wednesday's practice for undisclosed reasons. Meanwhile, rookie guard Wyatt Davis was back in pads and practicing for the first time this week.
Also missing practice were left tackle Rashod Hill, center Cohl Cabral and tight end Tyler Conklin.
Rookie first-round draft pick Christian Darrisaw was in pads but was limited in individual drills and did not participate in team drills. Blake Brandel, a sixth-round pick in 2020, got reps with the first team with Darrisaw and Hill out.
Asked how his groin injury is progressing, Darrisaw said: "I feel great. That's why I was able to be out here today, doing individual [work]. Not team yet, but I'm getting there. ... I'm getting better every day."
Receiver Dede Westbrook and nose tackle Michael Pierce also were limited and did not participate in team drills.
Wilfs make $1 million donation to HOF
Vikings owners Zygi, Mark and Lenny Wilf donated $1 million to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's "Founders Exhibit," which will shine a light on the league's founders and owners. The Wilfs will be in Canton, Ohio, for Saturday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame deeply appreciates the generosity of the Wilf family," said Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker. "Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf and Lenny Wilf are great ambassadors for this game."