Culpepper Speaks...Sort Of

Daunte Culpepper has been incommunicado since his devastating knee injury a month ago, but released a statement Tuesday expressing his support of the team.

Since his knee injury that ended his 2005 season and threatens his availability for the start of 2006, Daunte Culpepper finally broke his silence Tuesday with a short statement about his status.

"I am wishing the absolute best for my teammates this season," Culpepper said. "I will be their biggest fan. I only wish I could be with them on the field."

Culpepper has been unavailable for comment since the surgery and has rarely been seen at the Winter Park training facility since the injury. He said he's already begun his rehabilitation process, which he referred to as "aggressive" in hopes of getting back on the field as soon as possible.

Culpepper took time to thank Zygi Wilf and Reggie Fowler for their assistance and support and acknowledged that the emotional toll of the injury has been pronounced.

His surgery was successful earlier this month, but Culpepper faces months of rehabilitation just to make it back on the field by the 2006 regular-season opener.

WEDNESDAY NOTES
* The Vikings are looking at the possibility of taking away the notion or a roof -- fixed or retractable -- from the Anoka County stadium proposal. With the potential of getting $115 million from the state mired in legislative red tape, the Vikings could go it alone with the county and get state approval that wouldn't require a state contribution. Anoka County officials want a roof on the stadium so it can be used year-round, but the state still appears unwilling to contribute public monies for the stadium.
* Fred Smoot has been listed as out for Sunday's game with the Lions after results of a CAT scan on his injured collarbone show he isn't 100 percent.
* The Vikings have 17 interceptions this year -- second only the Bengals (23) for the league lead.
* After being as much as minus-12 in the giveaway/takeaway category, the Vikings are now plus-1. During their four-game winning streak the Vikings have had a whopping 15 takeaways.

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