After enjoying relatively good health for the first half of the season, the Vikings are in line to get some help in the near future at one of the few positions where they've faced many injuries.
The team designated wide receiver Josh Doctson to return from injured reserve, clearing him to begin practice Wednesday. Doctson, who was placed on IR because of a hamstring injury on Sept. 12, is required to miss at least eight games, but can return as soon as Nov. 10 against Dallas.
The Vikings made the move on a day they also got Adam Thielen back on the practice field; the wide receiver did some running attached to a resistance band at the beginning of practice, before running routes during individual drills. Thielen, who missed the Vikings' game against Washington last Thursday because of a hamstring injury, is expected to be back for Sunday's game against the Chiefs.
Thielen was listed as limited in practice Wednesday and was the only player on the 53-man roster who was not a full participant.
'Ticked' about Kearse
Though Vikings defensive back Jayron Kearse apologized Monday for his arrest over the weekend, coach Mike Zimmer didn't sugarcoat his feelings on the issue when he was asked about it for the first time Wednesday.
"I'm very, very ticked off," he said. "Ever since I've been here the last six years, I've worked extremely hard to clean up the reputation of this organization, this team off the field. We've put in a lot of resources for them to not have these kinds of issues, and for them to do that is really idiotic."
Kearse was charged Tuesday with a gross misdemeanor for carrying a gun without a permit and four misdemeanors (possessing a gun while under the influence of alcohol, two counts of drunken driving and one count of careless driving) after he was stopped on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis early Sunday morning when a state trooper saw him going around a construction barrier.
According to a Hennepin County charging document, cornerback Mike Hughes was also in Kearse's car, and was throwing up with the passenger door open when a state trooper went to check on him. The trooper saw a 9-millimeter Glock handgun, which was loaded with 28 rounds and one in the chamber, on the right rear floorboard near Hughes' feet. Kearse said in a law enforcement interview he carries the gun for protection, and acknowledged he did not have a permit to carry it in public.
Asked if Kearse will be punished, Zimmer said, "It's a [collective bargaining agreement] matter and a league matter."
The NFL is likely to suspend Kearse should he be found guilty of the charges.
According to a USA Today database of NFL arrests, Kearse was the ninth Vikings player to be arrested since Zimmer was hired in Jan. 2014 (defensive coordinator George Edwards was also arrested for drunken driving in May 2016). The Vikings had 13 arrests during the previous three years while Leslie Frazier was coach.
Bailey wins again
Vikings kicker Dan Bailey was named the NFC's special teams player of the week for the second time in October after hitting four field goals last Thursday against Washington. He also won the award after hitting four field goals on Oct. 6 against the Giants.
For the season, Bailey has hit 12 of his 14 field-goal attempts and 23 of his 24 extra-point tries. His only missed extra point of the season was blocked in Week 2 against Green Bay.