Moongate won't go away.
Just when it seemed all of the controversy over Randy Moss bending over and pretending to pull his pants down after a touchdown catch in Sunday's 31-17 wild-card win at Green Bay was starting to tail off, it began to stir again.
On Wednesday, Vikings owner Red McCombs asked Fox Sports to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from the broadcast of Sunday's divisional playoff game between the Vikings and Eagles. In a statement released by the Vikings, McCombs said Buck's critical comments of Moss, "suggested a prejudice that surpassed objective reporting."
Buck called Moss' celebration "disgusting" and also apologized to viewers for showing it.
Fox quickly issued its full support of Buck and said he won't be removed from the broadcast.
Then Thursday arrived and the NFL announced it had fined Moss $10,000 for the fake moon shot. NFL Director of Game Operations Peter Hadhazy referred to the incident as "unsportsmanlike conduct" in a formal letter to Moss.
"Your actions were based on poor judgment, did not reflect well on you or the Vikings, and were insulting to many," Hadhazy wrote. "... Fans should look to you and your teammates to see how to compete and win in football. But when you lose your focus on playing and engage in sideshows as you did on Sunday, you forfeit much of this."
That should be the end of it. Of course, the Vikings play again on Sunday.
Don't be surprised if Moss does something even worse out of spite for the NFL.
VIKINGS PERSONNEL NEWS
Weak-side linebacker Mark Simoneau wasn't able to practice again Thursday and continued to be listed as doubtful for Sunday's divisional playoff contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
"He knew it was going to be close," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said. "I don't know how bad it is. It's not ready to full speed right now. We were hoping day by day (it would get better). But it hasn't quite healed up as fast as I thought it would."
If Simoneau can't play, Keith Adams will start in his place, with former starter Nate Wayne backing Adams up.
"Nate will be ready," Johnson said. "He'll be playing some in nickel. And we always have Ike (Reese) available too, so we'll probably go with that rotation."
Asked what the defense loses if Simoneau can't play, Johnson said, "Your starting WILL linebacker has to be a very good tackler, and he was playing the position well. But Keith will step up and take his place."
If Adams starts, he'll be used less on special teams.
"I think you'll see all of the linebackers playing special teams to one degree or another," said special teams coordinator John Harbaugh. "We'll balance their reps."
EAGLES PERSONNEL NEWS