NFL notebook: Ex-Vikings punter accuses coach of anti-gay remarks
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 8:51 p.m.
• Former Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe said his special teams coordinator made anti-gay comments while Kluwe was with the Vikings, an allegation the coach “vehemently denies.”
In an article posted Thursday on the website Deadspin, Kluwe wrote that coach Mike Priefer made several anti-gay comments in objection to Kluwe's outspoken support of a gay marriage amendment in Minnesota.
The Vikings said in a statement that they take the allegations “very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.”
Kluwe called Priefer “a bigot” and current Vikings general manager Chris Spielman and former coach Leslie Frazier “two cowards” for releasing him in May after eight seasons with the Vikings.
• The Buccaneers said Lovie Smith is the ideal man to coach Tampa Bay. The team made it official, announcing the one-time Tony Dungy protege who led the Bears to the Super Bowl seven years ago finalized a five-year contract that he had reportedly agreed to on Wednesday. The deal is worth about $5 million per year, ESPN reported. The 55-year-old Smith replaces Greg Schiano, who was fired Monday following a 4-12 finish. The Bucs also dismissed general manager Mark Dominik, and the search for his successor continues.
• Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested again for drunken driving, putting his status with the team in question after a perilous one-car crash that heavily damaged the SUV he was driving. Henderson was booked and released on $12,000 bail. He has a court appearance scheduled March 3. Henderson was also arrested Nov. 19 in Eden Prairie on suspicion of DWI and drug possession, one of three arrests involving Vikings players that month.
• The NFL is giving the Colts, Bengals and Packers one more day to sell their remaining playoff tickets and avoid local television blackouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in the local market. They can get one-day extensions if they think a sellout is possible.
• Kevin Gilbride retired as offensive coordinator for the Giants. The 62-year-old Gilbride, a veteran of 39 years in coaching, said he wants to devote more time to his family.
• Every NFL playoff game will be streamed live online for the first time. The league said CBS and Fox would be providing live streams of their broadcasts this season. The Super Bowl and NBC's wild-card games were available online the last two seasons.
• Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali remains out of practice with swelling in his left knee, leaving his status for Saturday's playoff game in Indianapolis in question. Right tackle Eric Fisher (groin) also missed the workout.
• Colts linebacker Robert Mathis is the inaugural winner of the NFL's Deacon Jones Award. The honor goes to the NFL sacks champion.
• Saints running back Pierre Thomas missed practice for the second straight day with a chest injury, leaving his status in doubt for Saturday night's playoff game at Philadelphia, ESPN reported.
• Wide receiver Percy Harvin has returned to the practice field for the Seahawks for the first time since the middle of November. Harvin was not available to speak about his return and the team was not required to submit an injury report, but quarterback Russell Wilson said after practice he believes Harvin is ready to go.
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