Ponder earns VCF Rookie of the Year Award: The Vikings honored QB Christian Ponder on Wednesday with their first Vikings’ Children Fund Rookie of the Year award. A $5,000 donation will also be made in Ponder’s name to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, according to Vikings.com.
“Christian showed great poise and leadership during his rookie season,” said Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier. “His presence in the locker room and his willingness to help teammates speaks to his character.”
“I’m honored to receive this award and hope to build a strong tradition of young players being involved in the community,” Ponder said. “As players we have the chance to make a difference in the lives of kids and families. I hope next year’s winner is as humbled by this as I am.”
The Vikings VCF Rookie of the Year award will be presented each year to a rookie from the previous season who best represented himself and the Vikings organization on and off the field.
Veteran players remain M.I.A. in voluntary workouts: Since being able to partake in his first practice since shoulder surgery, Vikings WR Percy Harvin hasn’t shown up for the past three practices. CB Antoine Winfield and DE Jared Allen have also elected to not participate in the voluntary sessions. RB Adrian Peterson is said to be continuing his knee rehab in Houston. Middle LB Jasper Brinkley, who is assumed to take over the starting position after Vikings chose not to re-sign E.J. Henderson, has been out since last week following a groin strain while attempting to break-up a pass. One positive note on the health side: WR Greg Childs,who had an injury-plagued college career, was back in action this week. Childs has been out since suffering a calf strain at Rookie camp.
“Nobody likes to be sidelined. I wanted to get out there two weeks ago. But it wasn’t time for me to get out there to start running around yet, so I just have to wait,” Childs said. “Right now I’m doing just a little bit.”
Chad Greenway remains away from the Vikings for personal reasons: Pro-Bowl LB Chad Greenway‘s father is battling cancer and is getting hospice care, according to KELO Television in Sioux Falls, S.D. Coach Leslie Frazier says Chad may miss next weeks mandatory mini-camp, but would be excused.
It’s officially official. Jerome Simpson will miss the Vikings first three games: I swore it was mentioned at the time he was signed that he would be missing the first three games of the 2012 season, but I guess now it’s “officially official.” The NFL announced on Monday that newly signed Vikings WR Jerome Simpson will be suspended without pay for the seasons first three games, in addition to being docked an additional games paycheck for his felony drug arrest. According to 1500ESPN’s math, Simpson will lose 4/17ths of his $800,000 base salary, which is worth $188,235. Simpson will be eligible to return to the Vikings active roster on September 24 and will play his first game in purple during Week 4 in the Vikings game versus the Detroit Lions
Other news nuggets from week 3 of Vikings’ OTAs:
- Rookie safety Harrison Smith started working with the first-team defense, initially alongside Mistral Raymond and later with Jamarca Sanford as the other safety, according to Scout.com. The Vikings traded back into the first round to pick up ND safety with the expectations he will be able to fill the void of the Vikings secondary.
Rookies S Robert Blanton and CB Josh Robinson will also get the opportunity to compete for a starting job, according to 1500ESPN.
- On Tuesday, Rookie kicker Blair Walsh was 4-for-6 in a string of field goals during special teams work, missing one wide left and one wide right, according to Scout.com. Walsh comes into his rookie season as the Vikings starting kicker after the team let go K Ryan Longwell.
- There’s a “good chance” the Vikings will work out free-agent LB Brian Banks on Friday, according to 1500ESPN. Banks, 26, was exonerated last month of a rape conviction for which he served five years in prison and another five years on monitored parole. For his full story, click here.
- Thursday’s practice will conclude the Vikings voluntary off-season workouts. Next week is the team’s mandatory mini-camp, which will consist of full pads, according to Scout.com.