Mixon Gets Two-Game Suspension

The NFL has handed down a two-game suspension to Vikings DE Kenny Mixon stemming from a DWI conviction earlier this year.

On draft weekend, coach Mike Tice was asked about selecting two defensive ends in the first three rounds of the draft. He said that one of the reasons, in addition to having been the top players on their draft board at the time, was a hedge against losing Kenny Mixon for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy for multiple alcohol-related convictions.

At the time, however, Tice was insistent that Mixon and his agent were convinced that there wouldn't be a game-loss suspension in the offing.

That changed Monday, as the league ruled that Mixon receive a two-games supension. Typically, when a player has multiple violations like Mixon does, a four-game suspension is warranted, but, in its decision, the league office said the circumstances didn't warrant four games.

Mixon is appealing the decision in hopes of having it reduced or eliminated, but that prospect seems unlikely to succeed.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that the Vikings need every starter they have for a brutal opening schedule, which includes Dallas the Philadelphia in the two games Mixon is anticipated to miss.

* VU has been told that the Vikings won't make Michael Bennett available to the Dolphins, as reported last weekend here. Miami is scrambling to find a replacement for the unexpectedly retired Ricky Williams. There has also been discussion of Onterrio Smith being of interest to the Dolphins, but the Vikings would likely be asking for a first-round draft pick to part with Smith.

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