Smoot's Brother Dies

Fred Smoot left the team Monday after receiving news that his half brother died in an automobile accident Sunday.

Fred Smoot returned to Jackson, Miss., Monday after learning after the Vikings' loss to the 49ers that his half brother died in a car accident.

The brother, Matthew Taylor, died early Sunday when his car left the road and burst into flames. Smoot's other half-brother survived the wreck and is expected to recover.

There is no timetable for when Smoot will return to the team.


* Vikings players will be hosting the Vikings annual blood drive benefiting Memorial Blood Centers at the Mall of America Rotunda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Chad Greenway, Jason Glenn, Will Hunter, Spencer Johnson, Darrion Scott, Kenechi Udeze, and Tarvaris Jackson and Vikings cheerleaders will host the Vikings annual blood drive at various times. Because the blood is separated into components, each donation can save as many as three lives. The donation process, which includes registration, a mini-physical and the donation, takes approximately 45 minutes, with the actual donation time being less than 10 minutes. To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. A valid form of identification must also be presented.
* Vikings players Ben Leber, Richard Angulo, Jason Carter, E.J. Henderson and Bethel Johnson, along with Vikings cheerleaders, will join Rob and Leah Brzezinski and their children – Ki and Grace – in a family fun fest at Winter Park to benefit adoption from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets will be available at the door. Admission is $50 for adults and $25 for children. All proceeds will benefit the Children's Home Society and Family Services. Winter Park is located at 9520 Viking Drive in Eden Prairie.

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